(Clear, Alaska) – Crews are conducting strategic burning operations again today near the edge of the Parks Hwy and near the Nenana River (MP 275/276); smoke and flame may be visible. Please drive slowly through this area and DO NOT PARK CARS on the side of the Hwy to observe these operations. This creates a safety hazard for both firefighters and the public.
Weather: Another RED FLAG WARNING is in effect in the fire area today for the possibility of thunderstorms (40% chance) and lightning. There is a 35% chance of wetting rain. Similar to yesterday, smoke should remain over the fire area into the day. While this can calm fire behavior, it is still very dry and the potential for active fire remains. Winds today should be from the west-southwest at 6-10 mph with gusts to 15 mph and could be erratic. The coming week brings more moisture with scattered and numerous showers and thunderstorms as well as chances for wetting rain but also for additional lightning strikes.
Fire Activity: Smoke lingered over the area for most of the day yesterday. This moderated fire behavior, and firefighters had a successful and productive day on the Clear Fire. “A lot of good work was done today, and we anticipate a lot of good work tomorrow,” said Incident Commander Al Lawson in yesterday’s brief to incident management team members. There are some new resources at the Clear Fire today. An Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is being used to locate heat and undetected spots, and another large helicopter called a CH-47 Chinook will arrive today. This aircraft carries a 3000-gallon bucket for water drops.
Yesterday afternoon in Div K, firefighters in Kobe Ag successfully conducted strategic burning operations from Rochester Rd out to the edge of the Parks Hwy. These actions removed fuel and helped protect the powerlines running from the road into the Kobe Ag area. Passersby may have witnessed smoke and flame during this operation. Today, firefighters will continue this operation, bringing fire down toward the Nenana River and the Parks Hwy, then establishing this protection line north back into Div G. Passersby are reminded to not park cars along the highway to observe. In other areas of Div K, firefighters constructed fire line from the Kobe Rd wrapping southwest around the edge of the fire to help prevent fire movement to the southeast. Most of this area is boggy and not fit for dozer work, so firefighters are building much of the line by hand. This work continues today. The Structure Group is also in Div K. They are working from the north to the south along the east side of the Parks Hwy, securing structures and setting up tanks to supply more water for structure protection if needed. When they are finished with this work, they will begin assessing structures on the east side of the Nenana River. Aircraft will work over the fire again today if conditions allow. Yesterday, smoke severely limited visibility, and air resources were unable to fly until late afternoon. Firefighters on the night operational period remain in the Kobe Ag area protecting structures overnight.
In the north side of the Kobe Ag in Div G, there was moderate fire behavior yesterday. Firefighters are working to cap off the top corner of the fire in Div G by building line from Willow St to Rochester Way and then out toward the river. They are also building line that parallels Lightning Ave eastward along the top edge of the fire. Crews in Div G are holding and patrolling the northern edge of this division where fire line is holding well.
In Div B on the northeast side of the fire, crews are mostly in the mop-up stage throughout the division and will continue this work until Div B is moved to patrol-only status. Some more black line (representing containment) will appear on the map in Div B soon.
In Div A/O, there is minimal fire activity on the north perimeter and crews are primarily patrolling the area. Further south on the northwest perimeter, fire continues to slowly creep toward the Teklanika River in multiple locations, and there is some isolated torching of individual trees. The River Group is working in this area to prepare and protect the structures near the previously located spot fire. There was another spot discovered yesterday on the west side of the river near the Div O/K break. Today, fire managers will assess this spot and make plans for the most appropriate actions.
Firefighters in Div F have hoses and pumps set throughout the city of Anderson, and structure preparation is complete. Most resources from Div F are assisting in Div K.
Sheltering or evacuation-related information: Contact the Denali Borough at (907) 683-1330, see the Borough’s Facebook page or visit denaliborough.org All other fire information: Clear Fire Information, (907) 290-2921; Alaska Fire Information, (907) 356-5511; akfireinfo.com, inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8178, and on the Alaska Division of Forestry and BLM Alaska Fire Service Facebook pages.