Wildfire along Alaska Highway drawing swift response from state forestry

A wildfire west of Tok along the Alaska Highway is drawing a swift and aggressive response from the Alaska Division of Forestry.

Estimated at 300 acres, the North Robertson Fire is burning in black spurce about 2 miles west of the Alaska Highway near Milepost 1352, approximately 30 miles northwest of Tok. The fire is about 2 miles north of the Robertson River.

A photo of the smoke column from the North Robertson Fire taken from the Alaska. Facebook photo

With no other staffed wildfires burning in Alaska, State Forestry is attacking the fire with multiple resources, including two air retardant tankers on contract with the Division of Forestry, two water-scooping aircraft from the BLM Alaska Fire Service in Fairbanks and a helicopter based at the Tok Area forestry office.

Aircraft are making retardant and water drops on the eastern edge of the fire closest to the highway to keep it from encroaching on the road. Smoke is blowing away from the highway at this time and traffic on the road has not been affected. No structures or homes are threatened by the fire at this time.

A load of eight smokejumpers from the BLM Alaska Fire Service arrived at the fire at approximately 1:45 p.m. while the 20-person Tanana Chiefs Type 2 Initial Attack Crew from Tok is also on scene. Initial attack crews from Palmer (Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew) and Fairbanks (White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew) were also enroute to the fire.

The fire was reported to the Division of Forestry at 10:21 a.m. and was estimated at about 2 acres on initial size up. It had grown to an estimated 15 acres by noon and 300 acres as of 3 p.m.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time but it is believed to be human caused.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ 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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