Alaska firefighters still busy in Lower 48

Nearly 300 Alaska firefighting personnel remain Outside helping to battle blazes in the Pacific Northwest. 120 Alaska firefighters were still working on the July Complex, a pair of fires that were started by lightning on July 31 and have burned more than 35,000 acres in the Klamath National Forest in northern California. Five Type 2 emergency firefighting crews from Alaska (Chevak #2, Huslia #2, Ruby, Stebbins #2 and Tanana #1) and one Type 1 hot shot crew (Midnight Sun) were among the more than 1,150 personnel assigned to those fires, which were listed as 79 percent contained on Thursday, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center in Idaho. The five Type 2 emergency fire fighting crews were scheduled to end their assignment on Saturday and return to Alaska on Sunday.

Two Alaska hot shot crews – Pioneer Peak and Chena – are still working on the Happy Camp Complex, a group of three fires also burning in the Klamath National Forest. As of Thursday, the fires had burned approximately 32,000 acres and more than 1,700 personnel were still working to suppress the blazes, which were ignited by lightning on Aug. 12. The Happy Camp Complex was listed at 20 percent contained as of Thursday, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center.

As the activity begins to wind down, four Type 2 emergency firefighting crews who had been assigned to the Happy Camp Complex returned to Fairbanks on Wednesday following a two-week assignment. Those crews included upper Tanana, St. Michael, Mountain Village and Pilot Station.

Four Type 2 initial attack crews from Alaska are still in action in the Lower 48. The White Mountain crew is working on the South Cle Elum Ridge Fire in Washington; the Yukon crew is assigned to the Beaver Fire in California; the Gannett Glacier crew is on the Snag Canyon fire in Washington; and the Tanana Chiefs crew was pre-positioned awaiting a new assignment. In addition to the firefighting crews, there also are approximately 75 overhead personnel from Alaska assigned to various fires in British Columbia, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The number of Alaska firefighting personnel in the Lower 48 peaked at over 500 earlier this month.

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About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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