McHugh Fire PM Update 7-21-16

overflight 7-21 1

Smoke rising from the McHugh Fire on Thursday evening 7-21              Photo –  Tom Kurth

ANCHORAGE – Overcast skies, cooler temperatures, and light rain enabled firefighters to go on the offensive today on the McHugh Fire.  Continuous widespread, steady rain starting tomorrow is expected to help crews get the upper hand.

The 842-acre McHugh Fire, which began late Saturday, is five percent contained. Hotshot crews were working today to secure the northwest flank of the fire from the McHugh Creek trailhead.  The firefighters are working in steep, rocky terrain littered with large downed trees.

Crews have laid an estimated three to four miles of hose, connected to pumps and sprinklers, in the Rainbow Valley subdivision.  In addition, firefighters continued efforts to create defensible space around structures in the Rainbow and Potter Valley subdivisions.  Crews will be monitoring the fire overnight and patrolling the Seward Highway to remove burning debris and rocks loosened by the rain.

Nine experienced crews are working on the fireline including the U.S. Forest Service Region-10 engines; the Tanana Chiefs and Lakeview Type 2 Initial Attack crews; and the American River, Pioneer Peak, Chena, Eldorado, Tahoe and Feather River Interagency Hotshot Crews.

A community meeting will be held Friday night at 7 p.m. at South Anchorage High School to update residents on the status of firefighting efforts.

Smoke has moved into Anchorage and Eagle River and the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services has issued an air quality health advisory through this evening.  Those with respiratory issues are advised to avoid outdoor activities and physical exertion.

Those living near the fire are encouraged to sign up for Anchorage Nixle Alerts.  Nixle is a great way to receive important safety notifications from emergency service agencies.  Register at https://local.nixle.com/register/ or text your Municipality of Anchorage ZIP Code to 888-777

Information about the fire can be found at:

  • akfireinfo.com
  • http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
  • Recorded Incident Information: 907-343-4701
  • Anchorage Air Quality Advisory: 907-343-4899
  • Incident Command Post Information Office: 907-742-8286
  • Facebook: Alaska DNR – Division of Forestry (DOF)

The Anchorage Horse Council is an evacuation spot for livestock in the Hillside Area.  Livestock owners who need to shelter their animals can contact the council at 522-1552.

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