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Oregon Lakes

Unit Information

Alaska Fire Service - Military Zone
Bureau of Land Management
Alaska
Ft. Wainwright, AK 99703, AK

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Incident Contacts

Oregon Lakes Fire Information
Email: 2019_AKMId_OregonLakes@firenet.gov
Phone: 208-254-1130
Hours: Daily 9-7p

Beth Ipsen
Email: eipsen@blm.gov
Phone: 907-356-5511

Highlighted Activity

05/25/2019 Daily Update for May 25th 2019 Oregon Lakes Fire
DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska – Firefighting equipment has been delivered to by helicopters, boats and parachutes to Oregon Lakes fire crews in the Whitestone Farms, South Bank and Richardson-Clearwater...
News - 05/25/2019
Parcargo Delivered to Structure ProtectionImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Type 2 Northwest Incident Management Team 11 led by Incident Commander Bob Johnson took over management of the Oregon Lakes Fire on May 21, 2019.

This remote fire was reported at about 1 p.m. on April 30th and has been burning predominantly in the Oregon Lakes Impact Area, an area that is unsafe for firefighters and low-flying fire suppression aircraft due to the likelihood of unexploded ordinance on the ground. It is burning mostly in downed trees from the 2013 Mississippi Fire and tall, dry grass and on the west side of the Delta River.

Fire Managers and representatives from state and federal agencies decided to redirect firefighters from building and defending firelines within the Oregon Lakes Impact Area to reduce risk to firefighters. As of May 23rd, three 20 person hand crews had arrived in the Whitestone Farms, South Bank and Richardson-Clearwater River communities. Crews will provide structure protection and also will look for locations where contingency fire lines could be constructed.

The crews providing structure protection now are the same crews that protected structures threatened by the Mississippi Fire in 2013. Their local experience is a big advantage and will allow field operations to be conducted efficiently. The fire is not currently threatening the communities, but equipment will be installed and tested to help residents and property owners be prepared if fire becomes more active and moves north.

The IMT will continue to work with the BLM Alaska Fire Service Military Fire Management Zone, the U.S. Army Alaska Garrison, the BLM Eastern Interior Field Office and the Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF) to determine the best course of action as the spring and summer unfolds.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.



Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseHuman
Date of OriginTuesday April 30th, 2019 approx. 01:00 PM
Location11 miles southwest of Delta Junction
Incident CommanderBob Johnson, IC2, Pacific Northwest Team 11
Coordinates63.906 latitude, -146.002 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel149
Size16,871 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained37%
Estimated Containment DateTuesday October 15th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Tall grass (2.5 feet), medium logging slash and timber with litter and under-story.

The fire is primarily burning in the 2013 Mississippi Fire burn scar. The fuels are in pre-green up conditions so the fire is predominately burning actively in dead grass tundra, brush and down and dead trees within the burn scar. Pockets of smoldering exist where the fire scar fuels transition to a black spruce/tundra fuel type. In the timbered areas the dead and down are available for fire to creep along at a slow pace. Fire will hold and smolder until it moves into exposed areas of the fine dry fuels.Transition to drier timber fuel available has started.

Significant Events

Isolated pockets of down and dead fuels continue to burn along portions of the perimeter, with the most active fire behavior on the west flank. During the warmest part of the day moderate to active fire behavior occurred with minimal spread. The rest of the fire perimeter continues to have minimal fire behaviors. Based on conversations and agreements with agencies involved we have shifted our mission from direct attack on the primary line to protection of values at risk, including the communities of Richardson-Clearwater, South Bank and Whitestone. Crews, equipment and overhead are working on structure protection and planning of the potential protection lines.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Preparations for point protection at the military observation posts area at the western end of the primary containment line have been finalized. Military personnel will be responsible for activation and line operation of the sprinkler system. Overhead, crews and equipment were relocated to do preparation for structure protection including fuels reduction and installation of hose lays. Also scouting of potential protection lines.

Projected Incident Activity

Protected fuels along the fire perimeter and burned area may stay active in the area of dead and down material with low-moderate burning. Southerly wind patterns return and increase in winds 8-14 mph with gusts up to 20 mph. Also strong erratic winds will accompany any thunder cells that move into the fire area. South winds 8-14 mph will push any fire activity into the burn. Higher temperatures and lower relative humidity will start to increase activity. Chinook and gap winds will develop during this period. Southerly wind will pick back up during daytime 12-18 mph and gust to 40 mph but diminishing gust of 30 mph in the afternoon. This may hamper air operations on the fire. Longer term forecasts predict a general warming trend consisting of sunny skies, increasingly warm temperatures and moderate winds. These conditions are supporting the rapid transition to green-up throughout the fire area. As this happens, the primary fuel of concern will transition from dead fine fuels from the previous winter to spruce component type fuels. Rough predictions indicate a more south wind component over the next 2 months. The holiday weekend brings a higher risk of fire starts due to potential human starts.

Remarks

TFR 9/9029 is now in place over the fire (Suface-9,000 MSL).

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Starting on Sunday relative humidity will bottom out near 25 percent. Temperatures will rise for Sunday as Gap and Chinook winds begin.