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.

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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