Smokejumpers continue to protect cabin from Nowitna Fire

Eight BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers continue to work on protecting a cabin from the 57,781-acre Nowitna Fire (#336) – the only one of 55 active fires statewide that is staffed. The area received enough rain Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to stymie the fire’s growth through a mixture of black and white spruce, grass and hardwoods. That weather is predicted to continue in the near future. Smokejumpers are planning to build a saw line at the fire edge where it is burning on the west side of cabin. A burn operation cleared out much of the burnable material on the east side of the cabin that sits on the Big Mud River, but failed to burn cleanly on the west side. Smokejumpers anticipate the effort to clear out the west side will keep them busy for the next few days. Fire management officials are keeping an eye on a cabin 2.5 mile northeast of the fire and will take action to protect it if fire activity picks up. Otherwise, the fire is burning in a limited management area in the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge about 70 miles southwest of Tanana and is allowed to function in its natural ecological role.

As of Wednesday morning, 322 wildfires have burned 581,494 acres statewide. Of those numbers, 161 of those fires have burned just over 500,000 acres within BLM AFS fire protection area that covers the northern half of the state.

Contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or eipsen@blm.gov for more information.

Map of the Nowitna Fire (#336) burning in the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge. // Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

Map of the Nowitna Fire (#336) burning in the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge. // Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. Click here for a PDF version of the map 7-26-17 336 Nowitna map.

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About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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