(Clear, Alaska) – Due to decreased fire activity, recent weather events, and significant progress made by firefighters on the Clear Fire, there have been updates to evacuation notices. The city of Anderson, Clear, Clear Space Force Station, Bear Creek and June Creek have been reduced to “Get Ready” status. All areas accessed by Kobe Road and all cabins along the Teklanika River within two miles of the current fire perimeter ARE STILL IN “GO” STATUS. For more detailed information, refer to maps at the Denali Borough’s website at denaliborough.org, see the Borough’s Facebook page, or call (907) 683-1330.
Weather: Today brings a period of cooling with damper weather. Scattered showers are expected, significantly increasing by the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the low to mid 70s with humidity 39-44%. Winds should be light in the morning and increasing after 11:00 a.m. Winds are predicted from the west for most of the fire area, and from the south-southwest near the Parks Hwy gap. Speeds are 6-10 mph but could gust as high as 20 mph. On Thursday, there will be a brief warming and drying period before a very wet pattern begins across the area. Due to rainfall and snow melt, a FLOOD WATCH is in effect in and around the fire area from Thursday night through Saturday evening.
Fire Activity: With the current weather impacts, fire behavior on the Clear Fire has been mostly smoldering and creeping; fuels are currently less receptive to burning. Closed stands of Black Spruce still have potential for flare-ups if there is solar heating, and heat is still consuming fuels deep into the duff. Recent weather has served to curb fire activity and potential, but it will take sustained periods of wetting rain to continue this trend.
Crews were able to return to work in the Kobe Ag area in Div K yesterday, utilizing a road grader to remove water and smooth out roads. Hand crews worked to improve dozer line on the southeast edge of the fire perimeter. Dozers continued their progress along the Rochester Rd area, and successfully secured this line into Div G to the north. Dozers also pulled down previously constructed berms in Kobe Ag in order to overturn and cool hotspots. After utilizing the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and gathering information from the flight, firefighters are investigating alternative routes that may allow them to reach the previously inaccessible southern edge of the fire area. Today, crews will continue improving the east dozer line and will keep breaking up berms. The Structure Groups will work around structures in Kobe Ag and continue reducing fuels in the Windy Hills Subdivision.
In Div G on the north side of Kobe Ag, crews are patrolling the northern-most dozer line and removing unneeded equipment. Firefighters are mopping-up in many parts of Div G, ensuring areas of heat are uncovered and cooled. Last night, dozer operators successfully connected the east dozer line into Div K. Today, hand crews will improve this line and mop-up at the edge of the fire.
Div B on the northeast is in patrol status. Resources from Div B are assisting on other areas of the fire. Fire continues to creep and smolder in the north and northwest sections of the fire in Div A/O. The fire has progressed across the Teklanika River in some sections near the Branch I and Branch II break (about midway north-south in the fire perimeter), however, crews are patrolling and have not found any threats. Firefighters have finished installing pumps, hoses, and sprinklers around the structures along the river northeast of the fire perimeter. Today, crews will continue creating a fuel break at the Native allotment at the north edge of the fire and anticipate completing this soon. Div F’s resources have merged with the Structure Group. This group will cover the city of Anderson if needed.
Sheltering or evacuation-related information: Contact the Denali Borough at (907) 683-1330, see the Borough’s Facebook page or visit denaliborough.org Fire loss or suppression repair information: Contact the Denali Borough at (907) 683-1330.
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.