The Alaska Division of Forestry responded to a wildland fire on Kodiak Island Thursday afternoon.
The 91-acre Saltrey Creek Fire was reported at approximately 12:30 p.m. by a member of the Womens Bay Fire Department. The fire was estimated at 5 acres and was burning up a steep mountainside about 15 miles southwest of the Kodiak Airport.
A Division of Forestry helicopter was launched from the Kenai/Kodiak Area office in Soldotna and four DOF wildland firefighters were flown to Kodiak by charter plane to respond. The helicopter arrived in Kodiak at approximately 4:30 p.m. to get a size up of the fire while firefighters reached the fire at 7:10 p.m. At that time the fire was estimated at 15 acres.
The fire was actively burning in exposed grass, alder and brush on the mountainside. The helicopter was used to drop water on the fire while firefighters worked to suppress the fire on the ground until approximately 11 p.m.
The fire received some light precipitation overnight and was 60 percent contained as of Friday morning. Fire managers are hopeful the fire will be fully contained by Friday evening.
The fire was human caused but the specific cause has not been determined and is under investigation.
The Division of Forestry would like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard in Kodiak for its assistance in getting pictures and an early assessment of the fire after it was reported.
As of Friday morning, there have been 86 fires reported in Alaska this season and a total of 2,137 acres has burned, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. All but one of the fires this season has been human caused.