Healy Lake Fire at 4,000 acres and still growing

6:15 p.m. – The Healy Lake Fire southeast of Delta Junction has nearly doubled in size and is expected to keep growing.
As of Thursday morning, the fire was estimated at approximately 4,000 acres but that number is expected to increase significantly as the fire continues moving east without any direct suppression effort. Managers are hoping to get a map of the fire today to get a more specific acreage total.
The lightning-caused fire, which started Tuesday night, had been moving mainly to the southeast but it made a push to the west late Tuesday night and bumped up against the north bank of the Tanana River across from Cummings Road, about 30 miles south of Delta Junction. The fire did spot two times across the Tanana River into a stand of spruce trees but local residents on Cummings Road reported the spot fires to the Division of Forestry and firefighters responded quickly to chase down the spot fires and prevent them from spreading.
Delta forestry personnel and the local fire department responded, along with the Pike Interagency Hotshot Crew from Colorado that had been prepositioned in Delta, and worked to extinguish the hot spots with assistance from two bulldozer operators. By early morning, a bulldozer line had been put in around the spot fires and managers were confident the spot fires would be contained.
At Healy Lake, meanwhile, firefighters continued working on structure protection around recreational cabins at the remote lake. Sixteen smokejumpers that were dropped at the lake and the Fairbanks #2 Type 2 Crew were installing sprinkler kits and taking other protective measures around multiple cabins at the lake. There were no reports of any structures being lost.
Two hotshot crews have been ordered to replace the smokejumpers but the smokejumpers will remain at the lake until those crews are in place.
The primary objectives for fire managers are to protect structures at the lake and prevent the fire from crossing the Tanana River to become established on the south side where there are homes. Southwest winds expected on Friday should help keep the fire on the north side of the river.
An incident command post for the fire is being set up at Mile 1399 of the Alaska Highway.

The Healy Lake Fire burns along the edge of Healy Lake on Wednesday as a plane sits parked on the lake. Photo by Bob Hajdukovich.

The Healy Lake Fire burns along the edge of Healy Lake on Wednesday as a plane sits parked on the lake. Photo by Bob Hajdukovich.

An air tanker drops retardant near a cabin at Healy Lake on Wednesday as part of an effort to protect cabins around the remote lake approximately 30 miles south of Delta Junction. Photo by Bob Hajdukovich.

An air tanker drops retardant near a cabin at Healy Lake on Wednesday as part of an effort to protect cabins around the remote lake approximately 30 miles south of Delta Junction. Photo by Bob Hajdukovich.

 

 

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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