Firefighters work on Chistochina River Fire containment line

Firefighters continue to put in containment line around the Chistochina River Fire (#381) burning near 36.5 Tok Cutoff. Photo by Zack Horner//Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters continue to put in containment line around the Chistochina River Fire (#381) burning near 36.5 Tok Cutoff. Photo by Zack Horner//Alaska Division of Forestry

Activity was relatively quiet on the Chistochina River Fire (#381) today as firefighters continue to work on getting a containment line around the entire 98-acre fire burning near mile 36.5 Tok Cutoff. There are a total of 44 people working on the fire. Three Type 2 crews – the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew and emergency firefighters from Minto and Marshall – are working on getting a saw line and hose lay around the fire and mopping already burned areas. They’re supported by Alaska Division of Forestry personnel plus tenders and accompany firefighters from Gakona Volunteer Fire Department and Glenn Rich Fire and Rescue. This freed up the eight remaining BLM Alaska Fire Service smokejumpers to return to Fairbanks and get back in rotation for initial attack for new fire starts or in case already burning fires start threatening structures or Native allotments. Two of the four water-scooping Fire Bosses also returned to Fairbanks, leaving two to stage in Gulkana in case the fire picks up like it did Saturday morning. A DOF helicopter is shuttling people and equipment on the fire.

The cooler temperatures and precipitation forecasted in the next few days should help firefighters’ effort to put the fire out. Firefighters, with the help of the four water-scoopers and an air attack plane, stopped the fire 75-100 yards from four residences, the Tok Cutoff and a nearby construction camp Friday night. The aircraft and firefighters worked fast and furious Saturday morning to catch a couple of spot fires. Otherwise, they’ve been able to hold the fire in check since Friday night. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)388-2159 or eipsen@blm.gov for more information.

The Chistochina River Fire (#381) has burned 98 acres of mostly black spruce. Photo by Josh Turnbow//University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew

The Chistochina River Fire (#381) has burned 98 acres of mostly black spruce. Photo by Josh Turnbow//University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew

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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