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Gilahina Fire Quiet Despite Warmer, Drier Weather
(Copper Center, AK) – After several cool and sometimes wet days, weather conditions have changed. Monday at the Gilahina Fire, temperatures rose into the 60ºs and the relative humidity dropped to 31%. Today is forecasted to be warm, dry, and windy. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the Copper River Basin, indicating fire conditions are high or extreme.
Despite the changing weather conditions, the Gilahina Fire showed very little activity yesterday. The fire continued to burn, but with little increase in visible smoke and no increase in acreage. Most of the smoke was observed on the northeast side of the fire, well inside the Limited Fire Management area. Burning in a wilderness area, this low-intensity natural fire will improve the health of the land and vegetation.The Whiskeytown Wildland Fire Module is continuing to monitor the fire and looking at possible options if the fire starts to spread too quickly. Aerial observers will also be checking the fire for possible flare-ups.
The Whiskeytown crew is also assessing the fuels around the Gilahina Trestle. This trestle was built in 1911 and is 890 feet long and 90 feet high.Over time, brush and trees have grown up around the trestle. If a fire spreads into this fuel, it could destroy this historic structure. The crew will develop and implement a plan to thin out some of the overgrown vegetation to reduce the chance of fire spreading to the trestle.
The State of Alaska Division of Forestry and National Park Service are managing this fire cooperatively. The public is requested to be extra careful with all fire and potential ignition sources during this dry weather. The Gilahina Fire was caused by lightning, but most fires in Alaska are caused by humans.
The Gilahina Fire is five miles north of the McCarthy Road. There are no restrictions on the McCarthy Road.Pilots are reminded to watch for fire related helicopter and fixed-wing traffic, and be aware of the possibility of heavy smoke. The local victor frequency is 122.90.
For more information about fires statewide, contact the Alaska Interagency Fire Information Center at 907-356-5511, or visit http://fire.ak.blm.gov/.