(Clear, Alaska) – Again today, crews may be working 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 highway to observe operations. This creates a safety hazard for both firefighters and the public.
Weather: The RED FLAG WARNING persists today, with predictions for numerous showers, thunderstorms and lightning. The current environment is still quite unstable, and any clearing skies will result in rising temperatures and decreasing humidity. This morning should be partly cloudy with lingering smoke, becoming mostly cloudy in the afternoon. Winds should be light in the morning and increase after 3:00 p.m. when the temperature inversion breaks. Winds are predicted from the west-northwest at 6-10 mph with gusts to 18 mph. Winds near the Parks Hwy gap should be south-southwest at the same speeds. There is an opportunity for wetting rain, and this opportunity increase as the week progresses.
Fire Activity: The south end of the fire received ½ inch of rain overnight. Yesterday, weather did not permit crews to continue their work on the burning operation in Div K from Kobe Ag out to the highway. Firefighters plan to continue these efforts when conditions allow.Crews continued to build and improve the fire line from the southeast side of Kobe Ag out toward the gravel pit. There was some increased fire activity in this area, so helicopters dropped water to assist firefighters. Fire crews are placing more water tanks and pumps near the southeast edge of the fire in Kobe Ag as they work to encircle this area and help deter fire movement to the southeast and south. The Structure Group
s is also working in and around Kobe Ag, assessing and protecting structures. Firefighters from this group are also assessing structures across the Nenana River in the Windy Hills Subdivision area. The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is flying in Div K to help identify areas of increased heat, allowing firefighters to address those areas before they grow. Crews on the night operational period will be in Kobe Ag throughout the night to protect structures.
In Div G on the north side of Kobe Ag, there was minimal fire activity in most areas with more moderate fire activity at the fire line on the southeast edge of Div G. Firefighters are constructing this line south into Div K to help impede the path of eastern spread. Fire line on the north and western edges of Kobe Ag is holding well in Div G, and crews are patrolling these lines.
Div B in the northeast has had minimal fire activity for several days. Firefighters here are conducting their final gridding work to ensure the area is free of excess heat. (Gridding is when firefighters space themselves out and systematically travel in a horizontal line together, diligently searching for areas of heat and cooling them as they go along.) Crews will begin to backhaul (remove) excess equipment from this area, leaving sufficient hose lays in place as a precaution. Fire managers anticipate that Div B will change to a patrol-only status by the end of today.
On the north and northwest sides of the fire in Div A/O, there was little observable fire activity. Crews are working on a fuel reduction line along the west side of the Teklanika River to protect an allotment on the northwest edge of the fire. They have been able to build upon a previously constructed line from a past fire. This work will continue today. The River Group remains working in this area to reduce fuels and secure structures. Fire has approached the few structures in this area; firefighters have been able to keep it in check and will continue these efforts.
Resources from Div F will continue to support Div K and the Structure Group today while remaining prepared to return to the city of Anderson if needs arise there.
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.