Summary: Northern Rockies Team 1 (NRIMT1) assumed command of the Clear Fire yesterday from Pacific Northwest Team 10 and is ready to serve the local community and cooperating agencies. Incident objectives are comprised of minimizing impacts to values at risk: primary structures, private in-holdings, Native allotments, hard-asset infrastructure, Clear Space Force Base, public recreation sites, private undeveloped lands, and natural and cultural resources. Aviation, responder, and public safety are critical priorities on the Clear Fire, and implementation of incident management strategies and tactics will be accomplished through deliberate risk management assessments. NRIMT1 is committed to minimizing smoke impacts to sensitive areas, developing suppression repair plans, and providing timely and accurate incident information to the residents of Anderson, Nenana, the Denali Borough, Clear Space Force Base, and all jurisdictional agencies and stakeholders. The fire is organized into a three Branch structure comprised of five geographic Divisions and four functional Groups. NRIMT1 will stay vigilant to accomplish our mission in the safest way possible as we see changes in assigned resources, fire behavior and Alaska weather.
Weather: Very little moisture has fallen in the fire area. Meteorologists are installing a rain gauge at the northwestern edge of the fire perimeter to measure future rainfall. Moisture measurements are critical for use in predicting current and future fire behavior. Weekend weather is forecast to be cool, damp, and rainy, with highs in the mid-60s and minimum relative humidity of 55-65%. Southwest winds are forecast at 10 mph, gusting to 20 mph. Fire behavior is minimal, primarily smoldering.
Operations: On the fire’s north side in Branch I, the River Group is using boats on the Teklanika River to shuttle fire personnel and supplies to areas of concern. Divisions Alpha, Bravo and Oscar have been combined with assigned resources patrolling the fire edge, assessing risks to structures and timber allotments. They are also implementing point protection tactics and locating, identifying, and documenting all accountable property on the fireline.
On the east side of the fire in Division Golf, firefighters are backhauling excess supplies, rehabbing safety zone berms, patrolling, and mopping up control lines. The goal is to minimize risk, limit fire spread potential, and reduce impacts to community values and infrastructure.
On the southern end of the fire in Division Kilo, firefighting crews are patrolling and mopping up existing control lines and assessing locations for future control lines to secure the fire’s southern flank.
The Structure Branch consists of two Groups: East and West. This Branch is comprised of structure protection experts who are assessing buildings and dwellings, identifying critical resources and infrastructure assets for fire intrusion potential. In addition, in cooperation with local public safety officials, the Structure Branch is updating and enhancing the Structure Assessment data from the 2009 Rainbelt Complex Fires. A current Rapid Response Plan is also under development that is designed to assist local fire and emergency services agencies with a mutual aid response in the event a wildfire threatens to impact the Clear Space Force Base.
Sheltering & Evacuations: Contact the Denali Borough at (907) 683-1330, visit denaliborough.org or follow www.facebook.com/denali.borough Fire Loss & Suppression Repair: Contact the Denali Borough at (907) 683-1330