A Day of Heavy Rainfall Creates Muddy Conditions on the Clear Fire

Red and white masticator near a chainlink fence surrounded by trees. The head of the masticator is grinding and chipping brush in the area.
A masticator works to grind and chip trees and brush on the Clear Fire, removing fuel sources in the Kobe Ag Subdivision. (Photo credit: Mark Enty, Northwest Team 10)

(Clear, Alaska) – There is a COMMUNITY MEETING to share information on the Clear Fire TONIGHT (Tuesday, July 12) at 7:30 p.m. at the Anderson Fire Hall, 911 D Street, Anderson, Alaska. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the Alaska DNR Division of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Facebook page.

Please drive slowly along the Parks Hwy near Kobe Rd. DO NOT PARK along the highway to observe operations. This creates a safety hazard for both firefighters and the public.

Weather: Today should be partly cloudy with smoke lingering over the fire during the morning hours. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast to develop by the afternoon. Temperatures will remain in the mid to high 70s, with humidity at 40-45%. Winds should be light in the morning and increase when the inversion breaks around 1:00 p.m. Winds are forecast from the west-southwest at 6-10 mph with gusts to 18 mph. Winds near the Parks Hwy are forecast from the south-southwest at the same speeds. Overall, temperatures are trending cooler this week with damper weather; there are chances of more showers with possible wetting rainfall in the coming days.

Fire Activity: There was significant rain, numerous thunderstorms and lightning for most of the day over the fire yesterday. This created unsafe working conditions throughout the fire area. Muddy, slick, and in some locations flooded roads, limited access until later in the day. The weather kept fire activity to a minimum throughout most of the fire area. While this weather may temporarily moderate fire behavior, it will take sustained periods of wetting rain to significantly decrease overall fire danger and make fuels less receptive to burning.

Heavy rain and lighting in Kobe Ag (Div K) yesterday forced firefighters to seek safe shelter for much of the day. Later in the afternoon, dozers were able to work on the fire’s eastern edge, building north-south control lines and lines eastward toward the Nenana River. Firefighters on the west side of Kobe Ag Rd removed hazard trees and stacked them for removal. Despite the wet conditions, firefighters working the night operational period found several hotspots in the Kobe Ag area and worked to cool them. The Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has been a beneficial tool in helping to locate these spots. Today, crews will keep working on the east dozer line, connecting it north to Div G and extending it toward the Nenana River. In the coming days, crews will continue efforts to complete the strategic burning operations along the edge of the Parks Hwy and the Nenana River, as conditions allow. The Structure Group will work today in the Kobe Ag area prepping around structures and utilizing a masticator to remove fuel. This group will begin fuels reduction in the Windy Hills Subdivision, located across the Nenana River.

Yesterday, on the north side of Kobe Ag in Div G, firefighters monitored for changes in fire activity. They will reengage with dozer operations on the eastern edge today as conditions allow. They will continue building this dozer line east and south into Div K.

Div B on the northeast is now in patrol-only status, and some resources from Div B have been reassigned to assist on other areas of the fire.

Fire activity is minimal on the north and northwest in Div A/O. Yesterday, crews monitored the area and assisted on other portions of the fire. Today, they will return to their fuels reduction work on the allotment, as conditions allow. The River Group had to seek shelter yesterday due to lightning. As conditions allow, they will continue placing more plumbing around the structures here.

Resources previously assigned to the town of Anderson are supporting efforts in Kobe Ag 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.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info, Alaska DNR - Division of Forestry (DOF)

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