Suppression efforts catch Mountain Village dump fire

June 9, 2016 – BLM Alaska Alaska Fire Service crews and water-dropping aircraft suppressed a fire yesterday that escaped from the Mountain Village dump Tuesday night. As many as 26 people have worked on the ground so far including smokejumpers and the Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew. A helicopter and two Fire Boss aircraft dropped water yesterday to help gain control of the fire. The combined efforts were effective as the fire is considered 80 percent contained and holding at about 30 acres today. It is burning to the north of the dump and was flanking toward the village when the suppression efforts stemmed its progress yesterday. Today hand crews continue to strengthen their hold on the fire and are doing mop-up. The fire was burning on a steep hillside in tundra, brush and the notoriously hard to extinguish peat. The area received a reprieve from days of warm and sunny weather when clouds moved over the village today. Yesterday, light smoke was drifting intermittently into the village.

Meanwhile, the Kuyukutuk River fire outside Russian Mission is still active, especially on the north side. It has moved to within one-third of a mile of an uninhabitable structure. Otherwise, the Midnight Sun Interagency Hotshot Crew finished up fortifying defensible space around the camp in case the fire gets closer to the Kako Retreat Center. Two Fire Boss aircraft intermittently dropped water on the southwest side of the fire to keep it from heading toward the Bible camp. The fire is estimated to still be eight miles from the retreat and is approximately 15,000 acres.

For more information, contact Beth Ipsen, BLM Alaska Fire Service public affairs specialist at email eipsen@blm.gov or call (907)356-5511 or cell (907)388-2159.

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