The Hess Creek Fire started June 21, 2019 by lightning moving through the area. It quickly spread through the dry black spruce. Total acreage as of July 30 was 189,369 acres.
A complete demobilization of personnel and equipment from the fire occurred on Aug. 9. The fire will be monitored through the rest of the season. Minimal fire growth is expected but remains possible if warm and dry weather returns. If this occurs, some activity and smoke may be visible around mile 61-62 of the Elliott Highway. However, this activity will likely not impact the highway or be much of a concern.
The fire burned underground in many areas of the tundra, into deep duff and through tree root systems. Fire weakened trees can fall with very little wind. White ash on the ground may indicate deep pockets of hot ash where roots and ground vegetation have burned and may continue to burn below ground level. Severe burns may occur by stepping or falling into these pockets of hot ash. Walking through burned areas is not safe.
For current road conditions, go to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities’ 511.alaska.gov website.
Date of Origin:
Friday June 21st, 2019 approx. 08:15 PM
29 miles southeast of Steven's Village, AK
Estimated Containment Date:
Wednesday July 31st, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
Timber (grass and understory), Tall grass (2.5 feet), black spruce and hardwood
Minimal activity, creeping, and smoldering.
The fire has received significant rainfall the past week. If a drying trend occurs, some activity and smoke may be visible around mile 61-62 of Elliott Highway, but should not impact the highway. The fire was placed on monitor status. The fire may continue to burn, but the intensity will depend on several factors: the increasingly shorter days, the lower angle and intensity of the sun, and the possible onset of cooler, damper weather between dry spells. It will take a significant amount of rain over a long time frame to put the fire out completely.
Alaska Interagency Fire Info Office
Fire Unit Information
Alaska Fire Service - Upper Yukon Zone
Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 35005
Fort Wainwright, AK 99703