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Hess Creek Fire

Unit Information

Alaska Fire Service - Upper Yukon Zone
Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 35005
Fort Wainwright, AK 99703

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Incident Contact

Mark Staples
Phone: 208-269-4413
Hours: Sun-Sat 8am -9pm

Highlighted Activity

07/22/2019 Hess Creek Fire Update 7/22/19
Yesterday the Wyoming Type 3 Incident Management Team took command of the fire. Firefighters continued patrolling the fire, mostly on the southern end near the Elliott Highway. Structures in this...
News - 07/22/2019
Hess Creek Fire PerimeterImage options: [ Full Size ]

The Hess Creek Fire started June 21, 2019 by lightning moving through the area. It quickly spread through the dry black spruce. The Southern Idaho Type 3 Team took control of the fire on Tues. July 9. Objectives from the agency include:

  • Incorporating sound risk management principles during decision process to provide for firefighter and public safety.
  • Provide point protection for values immediately or potentially affected by fire spread.
  • Provide accurate ant timely information to the local community and all involved agencies and cooperators.
  • Initiate suppression actions if the fire establishes on the south side of Elliott and Dalton Highways.

Crews observed minimal fire behavior today with only minor smoke drifting up from the interior. Thick cloud cover and high relative humidity prevented an increase in fire activity. As of today, the Hess Creek Fire has burned just over 271 square miles, about one quarter the size of Rhode Island. The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) was lifted Friday to allow for other aircraft in the area. However, a helicopter remains on hand should activity increase, and aerial resources are needed.

For current road conditions, go to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities’ website.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginFriday June 21st, 2019 approx. 08:15 PM
Location29 miles southeast of Steven's Village, AK
Incident CommanderWilly Watsabaugh, Wyoming Type 3 Incident Mgt. Team 2
Coordinates65.699 latitude, -148.359 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel84
Size173,467 Acres
Estimated Containment DateWednesday July 31st, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (grass and understory), Tall grass (2.5 feet), black spruce and hardwood

Significant Events

Moderate activity, creeping, smoldering, and isolated torching.


Planned Actions

Continue to monitor, provide point protection, and confine fire north of the Elliott and Dalton Highway corridors. Continue short and long term strategy for management of the fire. Continue securing spot fire on the south side of the Elliot Highway. Continuing prep work along the highway corridors in preparation for possible burnout operations.

Projected Incident Activity

Expect increased fire growth with rising temperatures, decreased relative humidity, and high pressure building. The fire is near the mining camps and structures, in and around, Livengood. Fire continues to be active on the northeast corner.


Wyoming Type 3 Team 2, Willy Watsabaugh IC, assumed command of the fire at 0700 on July 21, 2019

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

A warming trend for temperatures expected to begin today. Relative humidity values are expected to decrease throughout the early portions of the week, as high pressure builds into the Interior. Chance for isolated thunderstorms for eastern and southern portions of the Interior are expected for Tuesday.