(FAIRBANKS, Alaska) — Now that the Alaska wildland fire season is showing significant signs of winding down due to the cooler, wetter weather, the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center deactivated the Alaska Interagency Wildland Fire Joint Information Center Monday.
The information center was activated June 24 when fire officials determined that the number and complexity of wildland fires burning across the state warranted an additional public information presence. It was staffed by wildland fire information officers from across the country who gathered, researched, and disseminated information to the public and statewide, national and international press. These information officers also supported the numerous incident management teams assigned to manage wildfires in Alaska.
The Alaska Interagency Wildland Fire Information Office will now resume disseminating wildland fire information on the Alaska Wildland Fire Information website at akfireinfo.com and by phone at (907)356-5511. The office is staffed by the statewide Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection Public Information Officer and the BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist.
Some notable events that occurred during the 2022 Alaska Fire Season:
- More than 3 million acres burned statewide for the first time since 2015. This is also the seventh time since accurate records were kept starting in 1950.
- As of July 31, 557 total fires – 253 human caused, 268 lightning caused and 36 undetermined. The 10-year average is 548 fires burned an estimated 1.4 million (2012-2022).
- A total of 197 orders were filled for 20-person hand crews by 45 Lower 48 crews and 14 Alaska crews.
- A total of 4,218 orders filled for overhead personnel such as supervisors, unit leaders, managers and other specialists to support firefighting efforts – 3,176 from the Lower 48 and 1,042 from Alaska.
- Other orders filled: 235 airplanes; 113 helicopters; 79 engines; and 29 bulldozers.
- As of July 31, 101 smokejumpers conducted 751 individual fire jumps in Alaska; 500,000 pounds of fire equipment and supplies were delivered by the BLM AFS smokejumper paracargo program to support fire protection efforts in the state.
- Incident Management Teams were assigned to manage 14 wildfires in Alaska – two Type 1; nine Type 2 and five Type 3 teams. An incident management team is mobilized during complex emergency incidents to provide a command and control infrastructure in order to manage the operational, logistical, informational, planning, fiscal, community, political, and safety issues associated with complex incidents.
- Six complexes of multiple fires. The largest, the Lime Complex in the Southwest, included 18 fires within the 21-million acre fire area that encompassed a vast, isolated geographic area between roadless communities accessible only by air and rivers.
- BLM Alaska Fire Service Smokejumpers had the most southern fire jump in Alaska in the BLM smokejumpers’ 63-year history by traveling 787 miles from Fairbanks to the Popof Island in the eastern Aleutian Chain on May 13 to protect Sand Point from the nearby Danger Point Fire.
- While interior and northern Alaska had a later start to fire season due to the lingering snowpack, the Southwest and Southcentral were snow free earlier and experienced drought conditions that resulted in abnormally large early season wildfires in southwest Alaska.
- The 10,302-acre Kwethluk Fire, started on April 14.
- The East Fork Fire, which threatened the villages of St. Mary’s, Pitkas Point, Pilot Station and Mountain Village, was discovered on May 31 and with the nearby Apoon Pass Fire, burned a combined 250,725 acres in a part of the state that sees relatively few wildfires.
- More than 67,000 recorded lightning strikes recorded between July 1-11, leading to more than 100 new fire ignitions.
Other sources of information:
- BLM AFS on social media: @BLMAFS Facebook; @BLM_AFS Twitter
- DOF on social media: @ak.forestry Facebook; @ak_forestry Twitter
- BLM AFS Flickr
- DOF YouTube channel
- Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map Series
- Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Wildland Fire Dashboard
Categories: AK Fire Info