Moose Creek Fire now 46 percent contained; managers hope for full containment by weekend

Wednesday, Oct. 19 – Noon – A wildfire burning along the Glenn Highway  north of Palmer is now 46 percent contained and fire managers are hoping to have the fire fully contained by the end of the weekend.

The Moose Creek Fire, burning 12 miles north of Palmer and 5 miles south of Sutton, is now estimated at 303 acres, a decrease of 25 acres due to more accurate mapping on Tuesday afternoon. There are still approximately 80 personnel from multiple agencies and fire departments working on the fire.

Winds died down on Tuesday to give firefighters a chance to take a more direct approach on the fire. Wind speeds on Tuesday were 10-15 mph with gusts to 20 mph, which were about half the intensity of the previous three days.

“We were able to stop chasing it and start holding it and putting line in,” is how Incident Commander Phil Blydenburgh summed up Tuesday’s operation.

Containment increased from 22 to 46 percent on Tuesday and Blydenburgh is expecting that number to be higher by the end of today’s operational shift.

moose-creek-fire-map-snippedFire behavior on Tuesday was mainly smoldering and creeping near the perimeter with open flames and isolated tree torching in unburned pockets of fuel in the interior of the fire.

The two areas of the fire that remain of most concern are the northeast corner and the southern edge where it encroached on the Glenn Highway early Monday morning. The western flank of the fire also has significant heat remaining that firefighters are trying to extinguish.

Firefighters are mopping up along the fire perimeter with hose lines where they can but are having problems with hoses freezing so they are also utilizing engines in areas that are accessible. Bulldozers are being used to remove and pull apart heavy fuels that could retain heat and pose a threat to containment lines. Crews are also pulling frozen hose lines that were left in place following initial attack efforts.

Some resources are being demobilized and that downsizing effort will continue as resources time out and are not replaced.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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