Smokejumpers, aided by water-dropping aircraft, catch fire burning toward Candle

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June 6, 2016 – BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers, aided by two water dropping airplanes, worked into the early morning hours to successfully catch a fire that was marching toward Candle Sunday night. Residents in Candle first reported the fire at 8 p.m. Sunday. It was reported as quickly burning through the tundra on the west side of the Kivwalik River and moving toward the Seward Peninsula village. When the two water dropping Fire Boss airplanes got on scene, the fire was flanking toward the left side of the town thanks to winds that were blowing 10 to 20 miles per hour, helping the flames burn quickly through dry grass and brush. The fire, which was named the Mud Creek Fire, was an estimated 100 yards from the nearest building. The eight smokejumpers and two aircraft worked on the flank that was burning at the edge of the town. After the two aircraft reached the end of their operational period, the smokejumpers continued to work until 12:30 a.m. before they started wrapping up operations for the day feeling confident that they had sufficiently knocked down the fire and brought it mostly under control. This morning, the fire was considered roughly 85 acres large and 70 percent contained with plans to have 100 percent contained by this evening, allowing the smokejumpers to come off the fire today. The two planes were not needed on the fire today.

For more information, contact Beth Ipsen at email eipsen@blm.gov or call (907)356-5511 or (907)388-2159.

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