Alaska News

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Thunderstorms cause firefighters to shift priorities in the Bean Complex

A second day of scattered thunderstorms and gusty, erratic winds caused several of the fires in the Bean Complex to grow. The Tanana River Fire (#310) spotted across the Tolovana River along the western perimeter. Smoke continues to impede helicopter use for fire suppression and firefighter transport. As point protection succeeds on other fires in the Complex, crews and resources are shuttled by boat from west to east on the Tanana River to attack these spots. Long distances and strong river currents make this a two-day trip to move a crew and their supplies into place. With continued warm and dry conditions and the threat of lightning, a Red Flag Warning remains in effect for the fire area through midnight today. Today will be a few degrees cooler with slightly higher relative humidity, but with continued chances for late day and evening thunderstorms.
Alaska Wildland Fire Information

Disaster exercise to be held at Juneau airport on July 23

The tri-annual disaster exercise drill at Juneau International Airport is set for July 23. According to CCFR Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto, it is training that is required by the FAA. "It's a requirement every three years, the FAA requires that we do what's called a full-scale disaster exercise," Quinto said. "That means we do a mock accident that occurs with an aircraft that's the biggest aircraft that comes in on a normal basis. In this case, we have an Alaska Airlines 737 and about 130 people that are technically get injured." Quinto explained what the day of the exercise will be like. "During the day, we'll still have normal operations so aircraft and airplanes will still take off and land," Quinto said. "We will be off to the side. And then we'll have multiple victims, 50 to 80, depending on how the airport crews are setting up, so we'll have a tone-out as normal. We'll turn out the crash trucks. We'll have people all over the place simulating that they are injured. They're all bleeding and have bruises and bone sticking out."
KTKU-FM 105 Juneau

Dangerous fire conditions remain in place across the state

It’s been dangerously dry for quite some time now for many across Alaska. Anchorage has just seen 0.07" of rain since the start of June, but there is hope in the coming days. Thanks to a pattern shift, rain and cooler weather is set to spread east across the state. Temperatures today will still be warm for much of Alaska, outside of areas west of the Parks Highway. We’ll see highs in Southcentral in the 60s and lower 70s, with highs several degrees cooler in Southeast as well. The warmest location will be for portions of the Interior, where Red Flag Warnings remain in place through the end of the week. Highs for Fairbanks and the Eastern Interior, will easily warm into the low to mid 80s over the next several days. This combined with the chance for thunderstorms will lead to the potential for wildfires to easily ignite.
KTUU-TV NBC 2 Anchorage

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Alaska surpasses 2M acres burned in wildfires this season

Alaska has officially surpassed 2 million acres burned in wildfires already this season. According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Wildland Fire dashboard, 2,318,064 acres have burned in 426 total fires. There are currently 26 new fires and 209 are active across the state. There are an estimated 482 personnel battling 10 staffed fires. “While this doesn’t guarantee a record fire season this year, it does illustrate how dry conditions are across the state,” the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service wrote in a blog post. “It’s also an indicator of how busy firefighters have been so far this season with several months still left to go.” The Lime Complex of fires in Southwest Alaska includes eight staffed fires and 10 fires that are unstaffed, all of which were caused by lightning. The total size of the combined fires is 778,877 acres.
KTUU-TV NBC 2 Anchorage

Airport personnel accidentally light runway on fire to scare off caribou in Deadhorse

A fire was started on the Point Thomson Airstrip runway in Deadhorse Thursday after airport staff tried to scare off a caribou. “Airport personnel attempted to drive wildlife off the runway using small explosives deployed from shotguns, known as Bangers,” stated a report from Alaska Wildland Fire Information. “In the course of operations, the runway was set on fire.” The Greater Prudhoe Bay Fire Department responded to the incident and extinguished the burning runway, which was reported to be approximately one-eighth of an acre.
KTUU-TV NBC 2 Anchorage

Clear Fire Activity Increases on East Side of Fire, Communities of Anderson and Clear Upgraded to SET Status

There has been a change to wildland fire evacuation risk levels. The communities of Anderson and Clear have changed to SET status. See the latest evacuation map. There is a RED FLAG WARNING today. Lightning is likely and thunderstorms could produce erratic winds. If the smoke over the fire area clears, there is potential for volatile fire behavior. As the week progresses, there is more chance for wetting rain in the area. Fire was active overnight on the east side of the fire. Storm cells over the fire contributed to spotting south of the dozer line on the north side of the Kobe Ag subdivision. Firefighters will work to control these spot fires today. Crews are continuing to construct dozer line and secure existing line near the Kobe Ag Subdivision.
Alaska Wildland Fire Information

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