Smokejumpers snuff out small wildfire near historic mining site of Flat

The Alaska Division of Forestry reported two new wildfires in the Southwest Area over the weekend, one of which drew a response from smokejumpers.

The lightning-caused 22-acre Montana Creek Fire was discovered via satellite by multiple modis dots about 65 miles southwest of McGrath at approximately 7 p.m. on Friday. The fire plotted in a full protection management area about 10 miles east of an airport and cabins at Moore Creek. It was reported to be approximately 15 acres with a 60 percent active perimeter, burning in grass and brush.

An aerial photo taken Friday evening of the 22-acre Montana Creek Fire about 65 miles southwest of McGrath and 18 miles east of the historic mining community of Flat. Photo by Spence Robertson/BLM Alaska Fire Service

A load of eight smokejumpers from the BLM Alaska Fire Service was dropped on the fire at around 11 p.m. The smokejumpers worked late into the night, taking advantage of high humidity, to put a containment line in around the fire, which was mapped at 22 acres. Smokejumpers continued mopping up the fire on Saturday and it was fully contained at 1:56 p.m. on Sunday. Smokejumpers were then demobilized off the fire.

The lightning-caused Big Waldren Fork Fire was also found by via satellite by multiple modis dots at around 7 p.m. Friday. A plane en route to the Montana Creek Fire reported it to be 35 acres with a 100 percent active perimeter. The fire plotted in a limited suppression management area and did not pose a threat to any values, therefore no action was taken and the fire was placed in monitor status.

The fire was flown again on Saturday and was reported to be 340 acres. An overflight on Sunday revealed that the fire had grown to 1,000 acres. The perimeter was 25 percent active, no values were threatened and the fire remains in monitor status.

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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