With the perimeter of the 4,862-acre Twin Creeks Fire on Kodiak Island mostly secured, the Hooper Bay Type 2 crew was released to travel home on Saturday. The number of fire staff will decrease over the next few days as an Alaska Division of Forestry Type 3 Team begins the transition to a smaller Type 4 organization.This smaller team will manage the remaining tasks such as rehabilitation of disturbed areas of the fireline and monitoring for any further fire activity within the containment lines.
The remaining 70 firefighters on the fire will continue securing the containment lines, focusing on the locations identified by Friday’s infrared detection flight. Smokejumpers will be removing more hazard trees near the community.
Looking back 65 years into the wildland fire history for Kodiak Island, there are at least three fires that were larger than the Twin Creeks Fire that is currently mapped at 4,862 acres. In 1997, the Moser Bay Fire burned 14,100 acres. In 1953, the Kodiak Fire consumed 13,256 acres, and back in 1950, the Olga Bay Fire was estimated at 6,000 acres.
The public is advised to be careful if visiting burned areas that have hazard trees present. A hazard tree is created when its roots are burned and the tree is weakened, allowing it to fall with little warning. Firefighters have removed hazard trees to protect firefighters working to secure the line. Be careful if driving near Chiniak, as firefighters and their vehicles are working in the area.
The outgoing Type 3 Incident Management Team, on behalf of all the firefighters on this incident, thanks the community of Chiniak, volunteers, and the multiple cooperators who were first to respond and provided essential support throughout the firefighting effort.