State forestry managing 119-acre wildfire southwest of McGrath

Wildland firefighters are managing a lightning-caused wildfire that was reported late Saturday morning about 150 miles southwest of McGrath, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.

The Paimiut Fire, named after the nearby Paimiut Slough, is estimated at 119 acres. Six smokejumpers from the BLM Alaska Fire Service were dropped on the fire Saturday afternoon and they will be joined by two Type 2 crews from Hooper Bay and Chevak today, increasing the number of personnel working on the fire to almost 50.

The closest communities to the fire are Holy Cross, approximately 20 miles to the north on the Yukon River, and Aniak, approximately 20 miles to the south on the Kuskokwim River.

Smokejumpers worked through the night Saturday and all day Sunday to knock down the fire with support of two water-scooping aircraft on initial attack. The Type 2 crews are scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon to assist with suppression and mop up on the eastern edge of the fire.

The fire has many fingers separated by lakes and a 5-mile perimeter. There is a cabin one-quarter mile from the fire that is the closest value at risk.

The only other fire in the Division of Forestry’s Southwest Area with personnel still working on it is the 2,653-acre Bell Creek Fire, which was started on June 4 by lightning near the village of Crooked Creek.

Approximately 30 personnel remain on the fire, including eight smokejumpers and the Yukon Type 2 Initial Attack Crew. The Pioneer Peak hotshot crew was released from the fire on Sunday.

The Yukon crew on Sunday continued gridding for and mopping up hot spots to work toward a 300-foot wide containment line around the perimeter of the fire.

A staging area was re-located from Red Devil to Aniak to provide logistical support for both fires.

 

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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