New fires start as Tanana Slough Fire reaches 25 percent containment

11:00 a.m. (Tok, AK) – The Tok Area Office of the Division of Forestry responded to two new fires on Tuesday while continuing to support the on-going efforts to control the 550 acre Tanana Slough Fire by Dot Lake. Despite challenges from strong winds on Tuesday, firefighters held growth of the Tanana Slough Fire to 50 acres. The fire is now 25 percent contained. Nearly 100 firefighters are working to keep the fire confined to an island, with assistance from two helicopters and water scooping aircraft dropping water on the fire’s southern flank.
The first new fire yesterday was reported burning in grass and hardwoods near a pullout by milepost 1276 of the Alaska Highway. Firefighters responded with three engines and a water tender; they quickly suppressed this one-tenth of an acre Milepost 1276 Fire. The second new fire demonstrated the value of having an observer posted at the Eagle Lookout that oversees the Tok area. Dry lightning activity moved through the Tok area during the late afternoon. The Eagle Lookout observer reported smoke from the lightning-caused Spruce Island Fire a mile north of milepost 1308 of the Alaska Highway near Tok. A quick response by Initial Attack firefighters, supported with a helicopter dropping buckets of water, a bulldozer and two engines controlled the fire at one acre in size.
Travelers on the Alaska Highway between Tok and Delta are requested not to stop on the narrow road shoulder to view fire activity; instead, please use parking areas or pullouts where stopping is safe.
Much of Alaska continues under Red Flag Warnings for strong winds or very low humidity. A Red Flag Warning means that conditions exist that could lead to new large and dangerous wildland fires. Everyone is encouraged to use extra care during any outdoor activity that could lead to a new wildland fire.
CONTACT: Jim Schwarber, (907) 451-2704, james.schwarber@alaska.gov

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