Firefighters continue to make significant progress securing and strengthening lines on multiple wildfires across the Upper Yukon Flats on Wednesday. The highest priority for all fire personnel has been ensuring the protection of the Gwich’in villages of Chalkyitsik, Beaver and Venetie.
Constructed containment lines that have been made by hand line, dozer line and natural barriers will continue to be patrolled and monitored by firefighters assisted by Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) “drones” and traditional aviation equipment.
Resources such as equipment and personell that have completed their missions are being transported to Fairbanks for release to home unit or other wildfire incidents. Fire managers are building a plan to leave pumps, hose and sprinklers in place to support a proactive response should fire activity increase in the months ahead. Fire personnel will continue to monitor fires and conduct reconnaissance flights to monitor fire activity.
Significant fire spread on the wildfires is not expected, but interior fuels will continue to burn and produce visible smoke. Lower duff layers are stubbornly resisting mop up and retaining heat due to persistent drought conditions. These lower layers are now temporarily capped under a moist surface layer that will easily dry. Rain in excess of 4 inches is needed to significantly dampen the lower duff layers.
Chalkyitsik Complex: Firefighters continue mopping up the Chalkyitsik Complex, a 501,621 acre fire complex above the Arctic Circle. Fire crews completed securing the line in the vicinity of Ohtig Lake working north along indirect lines. Mop up activities continue between the Draanjik River and Chahalie Lake along with point protection of structures and when possible allotments within the river corridor. Backhaul of equipment, pumps and hoses continue around the village of Chalkyitsik. Midnight Suns/Rotten Fish…
Cornucopia Complex: backhaul of equipment, pumps and hoses continue around Three crews remain on the Chandalar River Fire, near Venetie, their mop up and starting to remove excess equipment. The other fires in the complex have had suppression equipment removed and are in monitor status. WEATHER: A weak surface trough over the Yukon Flats will help generate enough instability for…… SAFETY: Residents in the area are asked to remain vigilant both in the short and long term when re-entering areas or allotments that have been impacted by fire activity. The fire has burned underground in many areas of the tundra, into deep duff and through tree root systems and can fall down even with very little wind. While ash on the ground may indicate deep pockets or hot ash where roots and ground vegetation have burned and may continue to burn below ground level. Walking through blackened areas is not safe.
Chalkyitsik Complex: Tractor Trail 2 Fire (#348) 90,970 acres, Frozen Calf Fire (#367) 238,989 acres, Bearnose Hill Fire (#407) 130,335 acres, Tettjajik Creek Fire (#424) 41,301, Small Timber Lake Fire (#687) 34 acres. [501,621 acres total]
Cornucopia Complex:, Hadweenzic River Fire (#337) 61,290 acres, Chandalar River Fire (#349) 12,977 acres, East Fork Chandalar Fire (#572) 190 acres, Tony Slough (#493) 7,961 acres, Trail Creek Fire (#621) 2,132 acres, Sixt-One Mountain 1 Fire (#622) 72 acres, The Woodsman Fire (#602) 0.1 acres, Coal River Fire (#601) 2, 606 acres, Pitka River Fire (#573) 1,260 acres, Thazzik Mountain Fire (#594) 4,992 acres, Schilling Creek Fire (#653) 517.2 acres. [93,997.3 acres]
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