More rain on the way for fires in the Bristol Bay region

Hooper Bay and Chevak crews return home

by PIO Sam Harrel

August 31, 2019

Iliamna Airport reported over 0.6 inches of rain fell Friday as the first of two weather fronts moved over fire areas in southwest Alaska. King Salmon and New Stuyahok both reported more than 0.3 inches of rain. The second wave is arriving today and is expected to bring widespread wetting rains along with strong, gusty southeasterly winds.

Fire personnel reported 0.2 inches of rain fell on the Koklong Creek Fire (#776), southwest of Ekwok, on Friday. There were no visible smokes and most of the heat was reported out on the 30-acre fire. Firefighters will prepare for demobilization at the end of shift today.

Fire crews were released from the Levelock Fire (#752) on Friday but volcanic ash prevented them from returning to their home units. Crews from Hooper Bay and Chevak were not able to fly into their west coast airports. The crews overnighted in King Salmon and will fly home when conditions allow. Firefighters remaining on the fire will complete dozer line rehabilitation and oversee the backhaul of equipment from the estimated 8,549-acre fire.

Light rain was reported on the Ethel Creek Fire (#516) throughout the day Friday. Firefighters are setting up point protection measures for Native allotments threatened by the estimated 31,000-acre fire 53 miles northwest of Nondalton. Aerial reconnaissance reported a decrease in fire activity on the southwestern side of the fire.

Pete Andrews Creek Fire (#457) burning north of Iliamna Lake remains at an estimated 5,859 acres. Firefighters continue constructing fireline around Native allotments threatened by the fire.

Aerial reconnaissance mapped the Lower Klutuk Fire (#770) at an estimated 4,699 acres. Rain fell Friday on the lightning-caused fire reported Friday, Aug. 23. It is about 10 miles southeast of New Stuyahok and over 15 miles northwest of Levelock. The Alaska Division of Forestry will continue aerial surveillance of the fire.

Fires remain active as rain moves through Bristol Bay region

September 1st, 2019

Dry conditions through the summer have allowed fires in the Bristol Bay region to remain active despite recent rains. Deep pockets of peat and duff continue to contain heat and are resistant to extinguish. Satellite-based detection equipment shows areas of heat remain on Ethel Creek Fire (#516), Pete Andrews Creek Fire (#457) and Lower Klutuk Fire (#770). Rain is forecast through Tuesday across the area.

Rehabilitation of dozer lines has been completed on the Levelock Fire (#752). The Kusilvak crew will demobilize today leaving smokejumpers to complete the back haul of equipment. Crews from Hooper Bay and Chevak arrived home after being delayed Friday. The estimated acreage remains at 8,549 acres.

Smokejumpers continue Native allotment protection measures on Ethel Creek and Pete Andrews Creek fires. Helicopter reconnaissance was conducted on each fire Saturday. A few isolated smokes were visible on Pete Andrews Creek where the acreage remains at an estimated 5,859 acres. Ethel Creek is an estimated 31,000 acres.

The Lower Klutuk Fire remains in monitor status and is an estimated 4,699 acres.