Smokejumpers, hotshot crews responding to fire between Central and Circle

State and federal firefighters are working aggressively to suppress a 160-acre wildfire burning near the Steese Highway between Central and Circle, about 155 miles north of Fairbanks.
Sixteen smokejumpers from the Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service are on the ground fighting the Bolgen Creek Fire located at approximately 148 Mile on the Steese Highway, just about a mile past the Birch Creek bridge. Four other initial attack crews from AFS and the state Division of Forestry, three of which are hotshot crews, were enroute to the fire. An air retardant tanker on contract with the state Division of Forestry in Fairbanks had dropped one load of air retardant on the fire and is expected to drop at least one more load of retardant on the fire. A second state air retardant tanker was expected to join the effort after being released from a fire south of Delta Junction.
The fire is burning on the west side of the Steese Highway but two spot fires on the east side of the road had been reported and firefighters were aggressively fighting those fires to prevent them from spreading.
A Type 3 management team has been ordered to manage the fire, which was detected at approximately 5:30 p.m. by AFS personnel who spotted a plume of smoke on a Federal Aviation Administration webcam located in Central. The fire is burning in an area that burned in the 2009 Old Bluff Creek Fire.
The cause of the fire is not known but it is believed to be human caused because there was no lightning reported in the area.

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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