11:30 a.m. – Six new fires were reported Saturday, with the largest being a 30-acre human-caused fire burning southeast of Delta Junction. Helitack, engines, air attack, retardant tankers, and the White Mountain Fire Crew responded to the Cummings Road Fire. Retardant was used to create a line around much of the fire, with a dozer and the White Mountain crew helping to corral the blaze. The TCC Fire Crew is being deployed to the fire Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Hillbilly Fire, 25 miles west of Delta Junction, remains at 20 acres. That fire was reported Friday on military land. The Alaska Fire Service is working closely with the Department of Defense to put out that fire, which is burning in tussock tundra and spruce west of Delta Creek. Pilots are asked to observe the Temporary Flight Restriction that’s been put in place over that fire. Additional information on Temporary Flight Restrictions can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.
The other fires reported Saturday were all human caused, sized up at 0.3 acres or less, and were located in the Mat-Su and on the Kenai Peninsula.. Engine and helitack crews extinguished the Junque Lady Fire, near Palmer. That fire has been placed in monitor status. The Honey Fire, also near Palmer, was a structure fire that spread into the wildlands. Division of Forestry crews along with the Willow Fire Department extinguished that blaze. An engine crew managed to contain and control the Scout Fire, on Scout Lake near Soldotna. An escaped campfire caused the Tom Fire, off East End Road in Homer. Crews contained and controlled that fire and it’s been placed in monitor status. The Mushroom Fire was reported within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and was determined to have rekindled from last year’s Funny River Fire. That blaze was also contained and controlled and placed in monitor status.
Meanwhile, precipitation helped moderate fires burning near Eagle – the 2,500-acre Seventy Mile Fire and the 376-acre Trout Fire. Crews continue to provide protection to structures and allotments near those fires.
Red Flag Warnings for high winds are in effect today for portions of northwest Alaska and the Interior. Those areas include the Lower and Upper Kobuk and Noatak valleys, the Southeastern Brooks Range, the Upper Koyukuk Valley, Lower Koyukuk and Middle Yukon valleys, the Central Interior and the Middle Tanana Valleys.
So far during this fire season in Alaska, about 8,181 acres have burned. That’s well below the five-year average for this time of year of 94,473 acres. But don’t be complacent. Fire danger remains high in many parts of the state.