Riley Fire Update, July 9: Riley firefighters tackle hotspots with aerial support

July 09, 2024 Posted by: Alaska Complex Incident Management Team
Riley Fire Update, Tuesday, Juy 9, 2024
432 acres, 96% contained, 244 personnel 

Riley firefighters tackle hotspots with aerial support 

HEALY, Alaska – Significant progress was made yesterday on securing the fire’s edge towards increased containment and fire managers are confident that 96% of the line is now contained. Fire personnel continue to seek out heat within and along the fire perimeter aided by uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS). As hotspots are identified, firefighters are working with aerial bucket drops to cool remaining heat. Additionally, a Helicopter Short Haul Unit (HSHU) arrived on the fire yesterday to aid in emergency medical transport if needed. The Riley Fire is in steep and difficult terrain, HSHUs are designed to extract personnel in an emergency by removing them with a helicopter short line and transporting to medical facilities or ambulance.  

Weather: Cool and cloudy weather will linger today with a slight warming and drying trend beginning tomorrow Wednesday, July 10th.  

Park Opening:   At 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10th the National Park Service and Denali National Park Tours Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture will welcome visitors back to the park. The entirety of park operations will resume, apart from Riley Creek Campground, Riley Creek Day Use Area, and the Horseshoe Lake Trail, which will remain closed due to firefighting support activities in the area. Furthermore, the Alaska Railroad and Denali Depot into will return to normal full-service operations on Wednesday.  

Go to the Denali National Park and Preserve website for closure information. Park Information Line: 907-683-9532, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., daily.  

Fire Investigation: The National Park Service is requesting information from anyone who may have witnessed the initial stages of the Riley Fire, specifically between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, 2024. Anyone who was in the vicinity of the Horseshoe Lake Trail, Mt. Healy Trail, Sugarloaf Trail, or on the southbound passenger train during that time and has information relating to the fire should contact the Tip Line at 888-653-0009. 

Evacuations:  Evacuation status in the Denali Borough has been lifted. As of Saturday, July 6, the Denali National Park and Preserve campus housing area was lowered to Green-Ready status. No areas outside the Denali National Park and Preserve are in an evacuation status. Visit the Denali Borough website for more information.   

Temporary Flight Restrictions: A temporary flight restriction (TFR) remains in place over the Riley Fire until July 19th. Find more information at: 4/7281 NOTAM Details ( It’s important to keep all unidentified aircraft out of the TFR area. If illegal drone use is detected over the fire area, all firefighting aerial resources are grounded immediately and may delay suppression progress.  

Last updated: July 9, 2024

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