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AICC Fire Update - June 6


June 6, 2010 -- Morning Highlights -- 11 a.m.

Joint Information Center: (907) 356-5511
Report Fires: Call 911 or (800) 237-3633

Fire Weather
The weather remains a key player in Alaska's current wildland fire situation. Showers fell over parts of the state again yesterday, with accumulations up to a third of an inch in the Interior and over one inch in some coastal areas. Only 152 lightning strikes were recorded statewide, however.

According to AICC meteorologists, the weather is changing, but slowly. A trend towards warmer temperatures and drier conditions will begin Monday and continue through the week. Thunderstorms will increase through the week as temperatures rise. By next weekend, Alaska's typical June thunderstorm pattern will be in place. The warmer temperatures, lower humidities, and increased lightning should also bring increasing fire potential. This may result in greater activity on current fires as well as new fire starts. For additional details on fire weather see the AICC weather page at http://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/weather.php. For a look at Alaska's 7 day fire potential, see http://fire.ak.blm.gov/content/weather/outlooks/Fire_Potential.html.

Aviation Awareness
New Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) have been put in place over some of Alaska's fires. Pilots are advised to check NOTAMS ( http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html ). TFRs are now in place for the Toklat 2, Gilles Creek, Big Swede, Upper Gerstle, South Fork Healy, Eagle Trail, and Eklutna Fires. Pilots are requested to report new fires to the nearest FSS or ATC facility. Pilots, please keep airspace safe by staying 5 nautical miles away from ALL wildland fires as there may be fire aircraft working in the area.

Fire Summary
Alaska remains at Preparedness Level 4. This means that multiple geographic units within Alaska are experiencing fire starts and there are several large, staffed fires. Level 4 also reflects the number of in-state and out of state resources required. Currently, 85 fires are active
statewide, 19 are staffed, and a significant number of Alaskan, Canadian and Lower-48 resources are committed (of which, roughly 900 people are from the Lower-48).

Four new fires were reported to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC) Saturday. Of the new fires, 3 were lightning-caused, and 1 was human-caused. These fires ranged in size from one-tenth of an acre to 700 acres. Two of the fires were staffed, 1 was placed in monitor status, and 1 was declared out. Eight smokejumpers are staffing the 1.5 acre Porcupine Fire and 4 helitack personnel are staffing the 0.3 acre Katlitna Fire.

With 85 active fires burning, fire management personnel are assessing fires throughout Alaska and primarily evaluating them for structure and Native Allotment protection. Due to the number of fires burning, fire narratives are not being repeated here, but are in the
AICC Situation Report (http://fire.ak.blm.gov/content/aicc/sitreport/current.pdf).

For additional information about a specific fire, please call the Joint Information Center at (907) 356-5511. News releases for individual fires are being posted to the AICC Newsroom.

According to AICC, so far this year 311 fires have burned 532,266 acres statewide. A map of "Statewide Fires" is at: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/maps.php. For more information about each of the new fires and ongoing fires statewide, please consult the AICC Situation Report.

Fires of Note
APPLEGATE FIRE (roughly 25 miles NE of Manley Hot Springs): 17,446 acres, 155 personnel, 0% contained. Creeping and smoldering. Direct line construction and structure protection ongoing.

CASCADEN RIDGE (roughly 12 miles SW of Livengood): 15,144 acres, 75 personnel, 0% contained. Smoldering and creeping. Line construction ongoing.

CHITANATALA (roughly 26 miles SSE of Tanana): 25,715 acres, 85 personnel, 0% contained. Creeping and smoldering. Structure protection ongoing.

EAGLE TRAIL FIRE (roughly ½ mile S of Tanacross): 17,879 acres, 667 personnel, 21% contained. Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT) in place. Smoldering and creeping. Line construction, mop up, structure protection .

EKLUTNA FIRE (roughly 37 miles NE of Anchorage): 1,693 acres, 91 personnel, 30% contained. Smoldering and creeping. Mop up ongoing. Lakeside Trail closed.

GILLES CREEK FIRE (roughly 20 miles N of Delta Junction): 18,100 acres, 50% contained, 577 personnel. Type 2 IMT in place. Line construction and mop up ongoing. Power to Pogo Mine has been restored and the mine is operating. As of 0600 today, Gilles Creek Fire and four other fires (Big Swede, Healy River, South Fork Healy, Upper Gerstle) have been incorporated into the Delta Complex under the management of the existing Type 2 IMT.

TOKLAT 2 FIRE (roughly 25 miles SW of Nenana): 111 personnel, 1% contained. Smoldering and creeping. Structure protection ongoing.

TURQUOIS LAKE (roughly 15 miles SW of Farewell): 95,616 acres, 12 personnel. Smoldering, creeping, backing, isolated torching. Structure assessment and protection ongoing.

Highway Travel
Travelers on the Elliot Highway will encounter the Cascaden Ridge Fire between Livengood and the Minto turnoff and the Applegate Fire between the Minto turnoff and Eureka.

Those travelling the Alaska Highway will find the Eagle Trail Fire near Tanacross. Both highways are OPEN; however, firefighters are working in these areas, and there may be intermittent traffic delays. Drivers should not stop within burned areas and should drive with extreme caution due to smoke and firefighter traffic.

Smoke from wildland fires may impact many other roads and highways in Alaska. In stretches of low visibility, drivers should reduce their speed and keep headlights on. Check for highway updates at http://511.alaska.gov.

The weather has provided a temporary respite from Alaska's intense fire activity. This is a good time to take steps to ensure that your home is protected from fire. Learn more about how to protect your property from fire by visiting the Firewise website at http://firewise.org/.

Alaska Fire Photos
Through the courtesy of agency and private photographers, numerous photographs of Alaska's 2010 fires are now available to view in an online album. These photos are available for public use, but please give appropriate credit to the photographer. More photos will be periodically added to the album, so check back often to see what is new. If you have photos you would like added to the album and made available for public use, please email them along with your name, photo date, and photo location to the Joint Information Center at alaskajic@gmail.com. Here is the link to the fire photo album:

Wildland Fire Smoke
Smoke from wildland fires can be both a nuisance and a health hazard. Important information about smoke and air quality can be found at these links:

· AK Department of Environmental Conservation smoke information http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/smokemain.htm

· AK Department of Environmental Conservation Air Quality Advisories/ Alerts: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/am/aq_sr.htm

· Fairbanks North Star Borough Smoke Visibility/Air Quality:
http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/airquality and http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/airquality/Docs/ParticulateLevels.pdf

Additional References
· Alaska Interagency Coordination Center: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/

o Map of Current Fires: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/maps.php
o Situation Report: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/content/aicc/sitreport/current.pdf
o National Fire Situation: http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/sitreprt.pdf
o Guide to Wildland Fire Suppression in AK: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/content/news/psa/Media%20Guide%20to%20AK%20Wildland%20Fire%20Suppression.pdf
· Alaska Division of Forestry (Burn Permit Info): http://forestry.alaska.gov/burn/

· Alaska Wildland Fire Coordinating Group- Education and Reference Materials: http://fire.ak.blm.gov/administration/awfcg.php

· Search for "Rural Alaska Fire Prevention Video" www.youtube.com

· Protect your home and property!: http://firewise.org/ and http://forestry.alaska.gov/pdfs/firewise09.pdf

· Department of Environmental Conservation (Smoke Concerns): http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/am/smoke.htm

· Department of Transportation (Road Closure Info):

(907) 451-2240, http://511.alaska.gov/
· National Parks Service: http://www.nps.gov/akso/Fire/firehome.htm

· U.S. Fish and Wildlife: http://www.fws.gov/fire/

· USDA Forest Service: http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/

· Anchorage Fire Department: www.muni.org/fire

· National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/

· Temporary Flight Restriction Information: http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html

· Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov/

AICC Morning Highlights is compiled by Alaska Division of Forestry, BLM Alaska Fire Service and the AICC Joint Information Center.

Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR): A restriction requested by an agency and put into effect by the Federal Aviation Administration in the vicinity of an incident which restricts the operation of nonessential aircraft in the airspace around that incident.
See additional fire terms in the Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology

Fire Information Contacts
A Joint Information Center (JIC) is located at the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. The phone number is (907) 356-5511.

In addition to the JIC, several fires have incident specific information officers:

· Tok (Eagle Trail Fire) : Sarah Saarloos (907) 883-6200

· Delta Junction (Gilles Creek Fire): Tom Lavagnino (907) 895-7472

· McGrath (Turquoise Lake Fire): Gary Lenhausen (907) 524- 0040

· Palmer (Eklutna Lake Fire): Matt Weaver (907) 761-6375

Additional Information Sites:
· InciWeb http://www.inciweb.org/

· National Park Service information: Denali: http://www.nps.gov/dena/parkmgmt/currentfireinfo.htm

Yukon-Charley: http://www.nps.gov/yuch/parkmgmt/currentfireinfo.htm
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