A helicopter and two water-scooping aircraft were called in to make water drops on the Nenana Rail Fire while a small group of firefighters from the Fairbanks Area Forestry and the Nenana Volunteer Fire Department on the ground worked to contain it at 2 acres.
AK Fire Info
The water bombers were scooping water from nearby Harding Lake, making for quick turnaround times. The four scoopers made a total 48 water drops on the fire totaling 33,600 gallons of water in a matter of two hours.
Work progresses on a pair of fires burning in the Yukon Flats as cloud cover and a sprinkle of rain kept fire behavior subdued Sunday. Update on the Marten Creek and Discovery Creek fires for Aug. 2, 2021.
Shortly after taking off from Venetie just before 3 p.m. Saturday, firefighters spotted what initially seemed like smoke from a campfire. The initial six firefighters were able to contain the Tinjikvun Fire (#396) by 4:30 p.m. Afterwards, 10 BLM Alaska Fire Service North Star firefighters were pulled from constructing an indirect fire break around Venetie to help extinguish any remaining hot spots.
The BLM Alaska Fire Service North Star Crew mobilized to Venetie today to help take steps to clean up an old fire break around the village to protect it from the Marten Creek Fire (#386) burning about 13 miles to the east. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew will head north to help smokejumpers working on the Discovery Creek Fire (#388) burning in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge about 30 miles northwest of Venetie.
Driven by wind and exceptionally dry fuels, the fire grew exponentially on Sunday despite an aggressive aerial response. with growth primarily on the north edge of the fire into what fire managers described as a “sea of black spruce” that has not burned in 30 years.
The reduced fire activity due to the rain prompted fire managers with the Alaska Division of Forestry to recommend reducing the evacuation level for homes and cabins along the end of Chena Hot Springs Road from a “Set” to a “Ready” effective immediately. The Fairbanks North Star Borough announced the reduced evacuation status at 2 p.m. Monday.
There were two lightning strikes recorded in the area, including one in close proximity to where the fire started on the edge of the Haystack Fire perimeter. The fire origin was located in a green finger of unburned vegetation between a four-wheeler trail and a dozer line constructed for the Haystack Fire.
The State of Alaska has a cross-border “splash and dash” agreement with Canada to provide aerial assistance with wildfire suppression, if resources are available.
A helicopter is on scene dropping water on the 2- to 3-acre fire and Helitack firefighters have been deployed to attack it on the ground. Two water-scooping aircraft based at Fort Wainwright have been ordered for water drops. Two more water scoopers and an air tanker that are currently working on a fire near Tok have also been requested to respond, as well as a hand crew.