|Fire perimeter map in relation to our community and Stardancer Base (Home). Click for larger view.|
The most recent incident report available on-line reads as follows:
An Evacuation Watch, issued by the Fairbanks North Star Borough, remains in effect for those living in the area from Mile 14 to Mile 32 of the Chena Hot Springs Rd. An Evacuation Watch is an advisory intended to inform those living in the affected area of the possibility of an evacuation so they can make appropriate preparations. Those who need to evacuate livestock, sled dogs, and other animals can take them to the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds. The Stuart Creek fire, which has grown to 50,000 acres, began on military lands and spread to adjacent state lands. It is four miles from the Chena River. Growth Tuesday occurred to the south and east. Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and light winds should provide firefighters with some relief today. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has taken over management of fire operations and a Type 1 Team has been ordered. Smokejumpers, retardant tankers and military helicopters continue to attack the fire. In addition, crews have begun positioning pumps and hoses to protect structures ahead of the fire.
|Date of Origin||Wednesday June 19th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM|
|Location||25 miles E of North Pole, AK|
|Incident Commander||Erik Duning|
|Fuels Involved||: Mixed hardwoods and black spruce|
|Planned Actions||The Type 2 Incident Management Team has been briefed. Begin prepping structures for structure protection. Continue to protect military and community assets.|
If necessary, we are as prepared to evacuate the place as we can be, given the resources at our immediate disposal. The truck and small trailer are prepared to load up and transport all of the animals and supplies and equipment necessary to care for them in a camping situation. We've made arrangements with friends outside the evacuation zone to camp on their land, which is easily and readily accessible. Those things that either might be needed during an evacuation, or are irreplaceable, have been loaded into the car. I can think of little else that we can do to prepare, so now we are in "wait and see what happens next" mode.
Yesterday's weather was very favorable for the fire fighters, with relatively cooler temperatures and little to no wind. Today's forecast is calling for winds of 10 to 15 mph from the south, so that is less favorable but is not particularly extreme.
Trish and I are both staying close to home. Although we had tickets, we skipped going to a movie in town last night. I'm hoping the theater management will understand the situation and let us use those tickets later in the week. Trish used her time yesterday to unpack some of her stuff and collect some family treasures she had nearly forgotten about. It was fun watching her face light up and hear her family stories as each new heirloom surfaced and I'm glad we were able to make space in the car for those personal treasures.
I used some of the time to rid the dog yard of foxtails and just spend some time with the dogs. They are all doing well and seem nearly oblivious to all the preparatory activity around the house. That is as it should be.
All of this has been an important reminder to update our evacuation plan. It was originally written at a time when I had about half the number of dogs that now populate our kennel, and while most of it is still applicable, some is not. I'm holding off on that project until we can get the newer trailer back, and build dog boxes to fit it. It's ironic that the primary incentive for modifying that trailer is to prepare for exactly this sort of event.
Today is Independence Day, and even the threat of wildfire won't prevent us from enjoying our annual community picnic. In fact, it may give us an opportunity to interact with express our gratitude to the firefighters who are helping us. Each year I celebrate the holiday by re-reading the Declaration of Independence, remembering the intent of the document is to list the grievances explaining to the world why a relatively small population was willing to take on the strongest military power of it's day in all-out war.
This morning I'll start my holiday as I start every day, by feeding, watering and cleaning up after the dogs. Just one more cup of coffee should be sufficient for me to prepare for that task. There is nothing like a hot cup of coffee to make my little part of the world feel right and proper.
Meanwhile, I'm wishing you all a very happy Independence Day. Remember that all Nations are created as a result of their history, and that our actions today greatly influence the direction of that Nation in the future.