State forestry monitoring 1,000-acre wildfire northeast of Dillingham

A wildfire northeast of Dillingham has grown to an estimated 1,000 acres but the fire is burning in a limited protection area and is being monitored by the Alaska Division of Forestry.

A photo of the 1,000-acre Kenakuchuk Fire taken late Saturday evening. The fire is burning in a limited protection area about 40 miles northeast of Dillingham and is being monitored by the Alaska Division of Forestry. Jason Jordet/Alaska DNR/Division of Forestry

The Kenakuchuk Creek Fire is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Dillingham in southwest Alaska. The fire was reported at 2:22 p.m. Saturday after the Dillingham Flight Service received multiple calls from pilots flying in the area.

There are currently no resources or values at risk threatened by the fire and the fire is being monitored by state forestry personnel.

The fire, believed to be lightning caused, is burning in a mixture of black spruce, tundra and mixed hardwoods.

The fire grew from an estimated 100 acres at 6 p.m. on Saturday to 800 acres by 10 p.m. A surveillance flight at noon on Sunday put the estimated size at 1,000 acres. The fire was showing minimal activity in the tundra at last report.

Because the fire is located in a limited protection area, the Division of Forestry is not taking suppression action at this time but will be regularly monitoring the fire form the air to ensure it does not pose a threat to structures or Native allotments.

The closest structure to the fire is approximately 5 ½ miles away on Okslukuk Lake to the southwest and there are several natural barriers between the fire and the structure in the form of creeks and lakes.

Smoke is visible from the community of Dillingham and the fire is located in a well-traveled flight path, generating multiple calls from pilots reporting the fire.

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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