The East Fork Fire was reported on June 15 at 6:25 p.m. and it continues to burn in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge. The lightning-caused fire grew rapidly and was estimated at 100 acres by the time air attack personnel from Palmer arrived. It is burning east of the East Fork of the Moose River, approximately 4 ½ miles northeast of the Sterling Highway.
As of June 28, the 1,016-acre fire continues to burn in a limited protection area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, there are 27 personnel assigned to the fire. The Pioneer Peak Hotshots will remain in the field to monitor the fire and finalize improvements to the ENSTAR natural gas pipeline corridor.
The fire is burning in primarily black spruce with some mixed hardwoods. Given the volatility of black spruce, the fire exhibited extreme fire behavior when it began Thursday night with crowning and 30- to 40-foot flame lengths. Due to the extreme fire behavior and the fire’s proximity to local infrastructure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the decision to take suppression action on the Southwest portion of the fire. The Alaska Division of Forestry assisted with the firefighting efforts.
Winds predominately from the south are pushing the fire farther into the refuge, away from roads and populated areas. The Alaska Division of Forestry is coordinating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the fire for ecological benefits in the refuge.
Cloud cover and light rains have moved into the area and are expected to continue to moderate the fire activity. Although parts of the Kenai Peninsula are receiving significant amounts of rain, the fire area is in a rain shadow, therefore is not expected to receive much rain over the next few days. Fires burning in deep duff and tundra require significant amounts of rain to put them completely out. Therefore, fire activity will likely increase once again when warmer and drier weather returns to the area.
The prevailing winds from the south have the potential to push smoke into Anchorage.
One June 27, the fire was transitioned to a Type 4 Incident Commander.
For more information contact Tim Mowry of the Alaska Division of Forestry at 907-356-5511.
|Current as of|
|Date of Origin||Thursday June 15th, 2017 approx. 06:30 PM|
|Location||15 miles NE of Soldotna, AK|
|Incident Commander||A. Kohley / A. Seaton(t)|
|Coordinates||60.596 latitude, -150.521 longitude|
|Estimated Containment Date||Monday July 31st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM|
Black Spruce and Hardwoods
Minimal, Smoldering, Creeping
Fire transitioned to a Type 4 incident at 0800 this morning. Miscellaneous overhead were demobed off the fire. Pioneer Peak IHC will continue improvements on pipeline corridor.
|Projected Incident Activity|
Fire activity reduced due to received moisture.
Fire experienced cooler temperatures, high relative humidity and light showers throughout today.