Smokejumpers and state forestry firefighters contain wildfire south of Tok

Firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry and BLM Alaska Fire Service worked together late Thursday night to contain a 35-acre wildfire along the Alaska Highway about 60 miles south of Tok.

A smoke column from the Gardiner Creek Fire as seen from the Alaska Highway Thursday night. Photo by Scott Eastling.

Smoke from the lightning-caused Gardiner Creek Fire was reported by passing motorists near Milepost 1248 on the Alaska Highway at 5:45 p.m. The Division of Forestry office in Tok dispatched an engine and a three-person helitack load to the fire, which was located approximately 12 miles from the Alaska-Canada border.

On scene, firefighters found a 2-acre fire burning in a limited suppression area about two miles north of the highway, just east of Gardiner Creek. Due to the fire’s proximity to a house and a Native allotment, a non-standard response was taken.

A load of eight smokejumpers from the BLM Alaska Fire Service was ordered and dropped on the fire at approximately 11:15 p.m. to assist helitack personnel with suppression. Firefighters secured the entire 1 ½-mile perimeter within an hour. The final acreage estimate was 35 acres.

Helitack personnel conducted a grid of the interior of the fire on Friday morning and found no heat, smoke or smell of smoke. The fire was declared contained and controlled at 12:54 p.m. on Friday and was placed in monitor status. All personnel were flown off the fire by early Friday afternoon.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info

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