BLM AFS smokejumpers catch fire near Minto Friday

July 16, 2016 – BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers caught a fire burning north of the Elliott Highway near Minto Friday. The Starvation Creek Fire (#527) was spotted by an agency aircraft at 7:20 p.m. Friday while it was flying a detection flight in the BLM AFS’s Tanana Management Zone north of Fairbanks. It was burning about a mile east of a cabin and about 13 miles north of Minto. Eight smokejumpers weren’t able to parachute near the fire, but landed a few miles away and were shuttled to the fire by helicopter. On Saturday, smokejumpers switched to mopping up the fire after successfully catching it. An Alaska Division of Forestry engine drove up the Elliott Highway and set up a blivit, or water tank, that allowed smokejumpers to easily refill their bladder packs to help with mop-up efforts.

For more information, call the fire information line at (907)356-5511.

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About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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