Crews continue working to control two fires in Mat-Su Valley

Division of Forestry firefighters are making good progress on controlling two wildland fires that ignited in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley over the weekend.
More than 50 personnel are working to contain the 52-acre Horseshoe Lake Fire near Big Lake that blew up on Sunday and nearly forced the evacuation of homes in the Rogers Road area. Two Type 2 initial attack crews from the Division of Forestry – the TCC and White Mountain crews – arrived at the fire Monday afternoon to compliment work being done by about a dozen other DOF personnel already on scene, as well as two helicopters dropping water on the fire.
Despite windy weather, the fire did not grow in size on Monday, according to Mat-Su Area Fire Management Officer Norm McDonald. A containment line has been placed around the entire fire using bulldozers and managers are confident crews will be able to contain the fire within the its perimeter. The fire did spot across the perimeter at one point Sunday night but firefighters were able to prevent it from spreading with assistance of a helicopter dropping water.
The closest homes to the fire are about one-half mile away and no structures are immediately threatened by the fire, according to McDonald.
Farther north in the Valley, meanwhile, firefighters continued mop up work on the 25-acre Sheep Creek Fire that ignited late Saturday afternoon about a mile east of the Parks Highway near Mile 91. Members of the Division of Forestry’s Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew are doing mop up work and McDonald is hopeful the fire will be declared out by the end of shift Tuesday.
Both fires are believed to be human caused and are under investigation
While the threat of wildland fires in Interior Alaska has been greatly reduced due to ample precipitation, that is not the case in the southern half of the state where conditions remain extremely dry for this time of year, evidenced by three fires in the past five days.
Two fires in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley over the weekend and one on Kodiak Island late last week illustrate how dry conditions are in Southcentral Alaska. As a result, the Division of Forestry is asking hunters heading into the woods and recreationalists seeking to take advantage of the waning days of summer to use caution with anything that could spark a wildland fire.
The bulk of the Alaska’s firefighting resources are currently in the Lower 48 helping with suppression efforts there and the state does not have the resources to respond to multiple fires. Please use caution with campfires and any other potential ignition sources that could ignite a wildland fire, such as all-terrain vehicles, chainsaws, trailer chains, etc.
For more information on wildfires in Alaska, go to http://www.akfireinfo.com or http://www.fire.ak.blm.gov.

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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