Alaska Fire Service - Military Zone
Bureau of Land Management
Ft. Wainwright, AK 99703, AK
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for dry and windy conditions in Deltana and the Tanana Flats Tuesday, the same day the Type 2 Alaska Incident Management Team (IMT) Green Team will take over the management of the Oregon Lakes Fire. The IMT will develop short and long-term strategies to stabilize this early-season fire burning 11 miles south of Delta Junction.
After three days of no significant growth or change in fire behavior, the fire is still estimated at 6,670 acres. This will likely change as winds were starting to pick up during a reconnaissance flight BLM AFS personnel flew midday today. Due to the predicted weather, the fire is expected to continue to grow to the north and possibly threaten State of Alaska timber values along the Delta River and Delta Creek. According to the National Weather Service, a weak south flow will develop over the Alaska Range, causing a slight warming and drying trend. Much stronger southerly chinook winds will develop over the Alaska Range on Tuesday, bringing a sharp increase in temperatures and winds to the fire area. The windy, warm, and dry conditions along the Alaska Range will last into the middle of the week. Smoke is very likely to increase with the warmer weather and increased winds. Red flag conditions for Deltana and Tanana Flats areas means relative humidity levels of 25 percent or below and sustained winds of 30 mph or higher. The IMT will work with the BLM AFS Military Fire Management Zone, the U.S. Army Alaska Garrison, BLM Eastern Interior Field Office and the Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF) to determine the best course of action, especially with the forecasted increase in temperatures and wind. It is in a limited protection area and is not immediately threatening any structures, military targets or valuable resources. However, because it is burning in the Delta River drainage with known challenging weather patterns that could cause the fire to persist throughout the summer, the team is being activated to plan for an opportunity to launch suppression tactics once the fire moves out of the military impact areas. There will be an increase of people in the area as the IMT sets up a command post and stages firefighting resources in Delta Junction. The remote fire was reported at about 1 p.m. on April 30 and so far has been burning in 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 tall, dry grass and downed trees from the 2013 Mississippi Fire on the west side of the braided Delta River. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. For more information, go subscribe to updates on akfireinfo.com or follow BLM Alaska Fire Service on Facebook (@BLMAFS) and Twitter (@BLM_AFS).