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Contact: Deborah Coble, 907-280-8739
Contact: Keith Mitchell, 907-683-9549Recent hot, dry weather coupled with multiple lightning strikes started new fires across the state. Two new wildfires were discovered yesterday in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.
The first fire (Charley River Fire) was originally detected through satellite derived heat detections near the confluence of Charley River and Crescent Creek. Alaska Fire Service – Upper Yukon Zone sent a detection flight that discovered the fire burning in heavy fuels (downed material from a 1999 wildfire) that was approximately 25 plus acres in size. No sensitive resources identified for protection from wildfire were noted within nine miles of the incident, therefore the fire was placed in a monitor status.
The second fire (Dome Creek, estimated 0.1 acres and 3.5 miles west of Coal Creek) was discovered by NPS personnel returning from a project out of Coal Creek. This fire is located in a Limited Fire Management Option, and therefore would normally be managed through monitoring while taking protection actions as needed; however, due to a number of factors, including proximity to sensitive values, the lack of availability of fire suppression resources statewide, and the potential for discovery of higher risk/priority fires, the plan is to suppress this fire while it is still small.
Several new fires have also been discovered today in Yukon-Charley Rivers, all adjacent to the Yukon River. Information on these fires is still limited other than their location. Due to the number of new fires in the area, initial planning to support managing the wildfires is underway, including inserting an incident management organization near the wildfires. In order to allow the incident management team the use of the Coal Creek and Slaven’s facilities for fire suppression operations Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Superintendent, Greg Dudgeon has temporarily designated use of these facilities for fire operations and support personnel only. The public is advised that both Coal Creek and Slaven’s facilities will be in use by the incident management team to manage ongoing fires in the vicinity. Due to the potential for increased air traffic during suppression efforts, pilots flying in the area are advised to communicate their intentions on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (122.8).
Current status of wildfires within Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve:
Webber Creek Fire: 6654.2 acres; Last monitoring event: 7/22/18; Minimal fire activity with 0 percent active perimeter with a handful of visible smokes observed and no values at risk were identified . The fire remains in monitor status.
Bull Creek Fire: 0.1 acres; Last monitoring event: 6/23/18; Minimal fire activity. The fire remains in monitor status.
(New) Charley River Fire: 65.0 acres; Last monitoring event: 7/23/18; Moderate fire activity and the cause is unknown. There are no resources at risk in the vicinity of the fire. The fire remains in monitor status and the source of the fire is under investigation.
(New) Dome Creek Fire: 0.1 acres; Last monitoring event: 7/24/18; Light fire activity. Smoke jumpers have been requested to suppress the fire.
(New) Edward Creek Fire: 2.0 acres; Last monitoring event: 7/24/18; Moderate fire activity. Currently placed into monitor status.
(New) Andrew Creek Fire: 1.0 acres; Last monitoring event: 7/24/18; Moderate fire activity. Currently placed into monitor status.
Fire in Alaska’s boreal forest is an essential process that restores ecosystem health and helps maintain species diversity. The National Park Service works with its interagency partners, neighboring communities, and other stakeholders to balance the risks and benefits of wildland fire when making decisions on fire management. Land owners can decrease the risk to their property by taking steps to make cabins and other structures more defensible against wildfire.
Additional information on the Preserve is available at www.nps.gov/yuch or by calling the Eagle Visitor Center between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at (907) 547-2233.