Alaska crews spread out across four states in Pacific Northwest

What’s the difference between fighting fire in the Lower 48 and Alaska? Well, there are several differences but one of the biggest is steep terrain, evidenced by these pictures taken by Steve Theisen that show the Allakaket Type 2 Crew working on the Clearwater Complex near Kamiah, Idaho.

Members of the Allakaket Type 2 Crew do mop up work on the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Thursday. Photo by Steve Theisen.

Members of the Allakaket Type 2 Crew do mop up work on the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Thursday. Photo by Steve Theisen.

Members of the Allakaket Type 2 Crew do mop up work on the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Thursday. Photo by Steve Theisen.

Members of the Allakaket Type 2 Crew do mop up work on the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Thursday. Photo by Steve Theisen.

Members of the Allakaket Type 2 Crew do mop up work on the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Thursday. Photo by Steve Theisen.

Members of the Allakaket Type 2 Crew do mop up work on the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Thursday. Photo by Steve Theisen.

The Allakaket Type 2 Crew hikes up a steep hill on the way to work in the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Tuesday. Photo by Steve Theisen

The Allakaket Type 2 Crew hikes up a steep hill on the way to work in the Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho on Tuesday. Photo by Steve Theisen

The Clearwater Complex in northwest Idaho consists of three fires in the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests totaling an estimated 39,200 acres. The Allakaket Crew is one of three Alaska Type 2 crews working on the complex, which has 683 total personnel assigned. The other two Alaska crews working on the Clearwater Complex are Chevak #2 and Nondalton.

As you can see from the pictures, the crews are working in steep country, which Theisen said is heavily populated with deer. In fact, in an email he sent an hour ago Theisen, who is acting as the crew representative for the Allakaket Crew, said that four deer just ran past the crew as they were working. While Alaskan firefighters are used to walking on tundra, which is one of the biggest challenges Lower 48 firefighters face when coming to Alaska, the steep, rocky terrain in the Pacific Northwest takes some getting used to when Alaska crews head south.

The Allakaket Crew is one of 27 Alaska crews from the Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska Fire Service and U.S. Forest Service that have been sent to the Lower 48 in the past two weeks to help with firefighting efforts in California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, Another five crews – Grayling, Marshall, Ruby, Selawik #1 and Stebbins #2 – are scheduled to fly south to Lewiston, Idaho tomorrow morning to join the massive suppression effort.

Here’s a list of the fires that the Type 2 Alaska Incident Management Team and 27 Alaska firefighting crews that have been sent south are working on as of Thursday morning, Aug. 20
Type 2 Incident Management Team

Kanisku Complex – Six fires totaling approximately 8,300 acres in northeast Washington near Usk, Wash. The biggest of the six fires is the Tower Fire at approximately 7,700 acres. The complex is 2% contained and has 234 personnel assigned.
Type 1 Crews

Chena Hotshots – Demobbed from the Soda Fire in Idaho on 8/19, will take two days R&R and be available for reassignment on 8/22.
Midnight Sun Hotshots – Motorway Complex (7 fires totaling an estimated 15,116 acres in the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forests in northwest Idaho. It is part of the 39,200-acre Clearwater Complex. The complex is 5% contained with 21 personnel assigned. Zero structures have been lost.
Pioneer Peak Hotshots – Chelan Complex (5 fires totaling an estimated 122,845 acres) in central Washington near the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest. Containment varies from 0% to 49% depending on fire. There are 993 personnel assigned and 84 structures have been lost.

Type 2 Initial Attack Crews
Gannett Glacier – River Complex (2 fires totaling an estimated 48,099 acres) in Shasta Trinity National Forest in northern California. The complex is 22% contained with 675 personnel assigned. Zero structures have been lost.
Tanana Chiefs – Route Complex in Six Rivers National Forest in northern California. The Route Complex has merged with the Mad River Complex and the two complexes are estimated at 34,350 acres. The complex is 37% contained with 920 personnel assigned. Two structures have been lost.
U.S. Forest Service Region 10 – Frog Fire in the Modoc National Forest in northern California. The fire is estimated at 4,863 acres with 45 personnel assigned and is 100% contained.
White Mountain – Fork Complex (5 fires estimated at 36,285 acres) in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California. The complex is 60% contained with 2,002 personnel assigned. Twelve structures have been lost.
Yukon – – Route Complex in Six Rivers National Forest in northern California. The Route Complex has merged with the Mad River Complex and the two complexes are estimated at 34,350 acres .The complex is 37% contained with 920 personnel assigned. Two structures have been lost.
Type 2 Crews
Allakaket – Clearwater Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 39,200 acres) in Nez-Perce-Clearwater National Forests in northwest Idaho. . The fires are 30% contained with 683 personnel assigned. There have been 114 structures lost.
Chevak #1 –Buck Horn Fire in Lolo National Forest, Montana. The fire is estimated at 60 acres with 67 personnel assigned. The fire is 40% contained.
Chevak #2 – Clearwater Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 39,200 acres) in Nez-Perce-Clearwater National Forests in northwest Idaho. . The fires are 30% contained with 683 personnel assigned. There have been 114 structures lost.
Fairbanks #2 – Not Creative Fire in northwest Idaho, approximately 20 miles east of Coeur d’Alene. The 135-acre fire is 100% contained with 130 personnel assigned. No structures have been lost.
Fort Yukon #1 – Northeast Kootenai Complex (4 fires totaling an estimated 3,000 acres) in Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana. The complex is 0% contained with 280 personnel assigned. No structures have been lost.
Fort Yukon #2 – Northeast Kootenai Complex (4 fires totaling an estimated 3,000 acres) in Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana. The complex is 0% contained with 280 personnel assigned. No structures have been lost.
Grayling – Reserved for Northern Rockies fire support in Missoula, Mont.
Hooper Bay – Municipal Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 23,476 acres) in northwest Idaho. The fire is 30% contained with 226 personnel. Twelve structures have been lost.
Huslia #1 – Municipal Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 23,476 acres) in northwest Idaho.The fire is 30% contained with 226 personnel. Twelve structures have been lost.
Kaltag #1 – Wildhorse Point Fire in northwest Montana. The fire is 25% contained and estimated at 132 acres. There are 100 personnel on the fire.
Marshall – Reserved for Northern Rockies fire support in Missoula, Mont.
Minto – Municipal Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 23,476 acres) in northwest Idaho. The fire is 30% contained with 225 personnel. Twelve structures have been lost.
Mountain Village – Municipal Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 23,476 acres) in northwest Idaho. The fire is 30% contained with 225 personnel. Twelve structures have been lost.
Nondalton – Clearwater Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 39,200 acres) in Nez-Perce-Clearwater National Forests in northwest Idaho. The fires are 30% contained with 683 personnel assigned.There have been 114 structures lost.
Ruby – Reserved for Northern Rockies fire support in Missoula, Mont.
St. Michael – Northewast Kootenai Complex (4 fires totaling an estimated 3,000 acres) in Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana. The complex is 0% contained with 280 personnel assigned. No structures have been lost.
Selawik #1 – Reserved for Northern Rockies fire support in Missoula, Mont.
Stebbins #1 – Reserved for Northern Rockies fire support in Missoula, Mont.
Venetie #1 – Municipal Complex (3 fires totaling an estimated 23,476 acres) in northwest Idaho. The fire is 30% contained with 225 personnel. Twelve structures have been lost.

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.

Comments are closed.