Firefighters mop up small wildfire along Steese Highway north of Fairbanks

Firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry and BLM Alaska Fire Service spent Sunday mopping up a small wildfire near Milepost 63 of the Steese Highway north of Fairbanks.

The Little Caribou Creek Fire was reported by a passing motorist at approximately 5 p.m. Saturday. The fire was estimated at 4 acres and was burning in black spruce and tundra on the east side of the highway between the road and the Chatanika River.

Two Division of Forestry engines responded and two water-scooping aircraft from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center were called in to drop water on the fire. Scoopers made three water drops and a load of smokejumpers was flown to the fire to assist with suppression. The 20-person White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew based in Fairbanks was also mobilized to the fire.

Firefighters set up pumps and hose to help suppress the fire. Smoke was blowing away from the highway and the road remained open throughout the incident. Personnel from the Department of Transportation was called in to set up signs on the road alerting motorists of the fire activity.

About 30 firefighters remained on scene Sunday to mop up the fire and were expected to have the fire fully contained by the end of shift. A size estimate on Sunday put the fire at 8.5 acres.

The fire is believed to be human caused and is under investigation.

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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