(Clear, Alaska) – Special Notes: Tomorrow, July 15 at 6:00 p.m., an orderly transition of command of the Clear Fire will take place between Northwest Team 10 and the incoming Type 1 Incident Management Team, Northern Rockies Team 1. Yesterday, July 13, members of both teams met in Fairbanks to share knowledge and begin this transition. Starting today and until 6:00 p.m. on the 15th, members of the Northern Rockies Team 1 will shadow members of Northwest Team 10 at the Incident Command Post and in the field in order to ensure a successful handoff.
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. 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: Recent rainfall and snowmelt in the Alaska Range will cause the river levels in the Teklanika and Nenana Rivers to run at bank full into the weekend. Subsequently, a FLOOD WATCH is in effect in and around the fire area from tonight (July 14) through Saturday evening. Today should be mostly clear with some smoke lingering early, then sunny skies will quickly dry out the region during the day before scattered showers return. Temperatures should be 67F to 72F, with humidity at 35-40%. Winds should be 6-10 mph with gusts to 15 mph and coming from the west. Winds near the Parks Highway gap should be south-southwest. Another cold front moves in on Friday, bringing additional chances for shower activity leading to a continued cool damp pattern. This next round of showers on Friday and Saturday should add up to at least 0.5 inches.
Fire Activity: Over the past few days, precipitation has markedly changed conditions on the Clear Fire. Firefighters have had the opportunity to complete substantial amounts of work; this has resulted in a significant change in containment to 49%. Containment is represented on the fire map as black line at the perimeter. Fire behavior is now mostly smoldering and creeping, and activity is expected to remain mild in the coming days as wet weather systems continue to move in. Heat will keep consuming fuels in the duff, and dense stands of black spruce could show more fire activity should dry weather return.
Yesterday, crews in Kobe Ag in Div K improved and patrolled fire line on the southwest and southeast sections of the division. On the southeast corner, masticator operators improved conditions around structures and powerlines by removing and chipping fuels. The Structure Group (also assigned to the city of Anderson) assisted in Kobe Ag by checking around structures for heat, removing unused equipment, and testing structure protection sprinkler systems to ensure they remain in good working order. Firefighters will continue with these efforts today, while crews at the southern portion of Div K continue reconnaissance for better access points to this section of the fire.
Firefighters in Div G on the north side of Kobe Ag are backhauling unneeded equipment. Crews in the center and southeast sections of this division are mopping-up and securing the fire’s edge.
In Div B, crews are constructing fuel breaks near the northeast edge of the fire. Elsewhere, the division is in patrol status.
Yesterday in Div A/O on the north and northwest, firefighters completed their work on the fuel break at the Native allotment on the north edge of the fire. Some crews in this area had been spiked (camped remotely) for two to three weeks, so they were brought out by boats and helicopters, and new crews were brought in by the same methods. Div A/O has now transitioned to patrol status, and crews remain in the area to act on any needs.
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.