Chistochina River Fire Considered 75% Contained

The Chistochina River Fire was estimated to be 75 percent contained today as crews continue to work on putting in saw line and hoselays around the 98-acre fire near mile 36.5 mile of the Tok Cutoff. Fire officials expect to have the fire fully contained within the next day. The area received light precipitation yesterday, but the weather bounced back with temperatures in the 80s, relative humidity levels in the 20s and winds gusting to 10 mph. Hot, dry, windy weather prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag Warning for the Copper River Basin from 3-10 p.m. today. Due to the increased fire danger, the Alaska Division of Forestry issued a burn suspension for the Copper River Area on Sunday prohibiting open debris burning or use of burn barrels. Campfires smaller than three feet in diameter are allowed, but not advised. The weather service predicted the area should cool off tomorrow and Wednesday.

There are 57 people staffing the fire including three Type 2 fire crews – the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew, and emergency firefighters from Minto and Marshall. They are supported by Alaska Division of Forestry personnel, three tenders and accompanying firefighters from the Gakona Volunteer Fire Department and Glenn Rich Fire and Rescue. Two water-scooping Fire Bosses are staged at the Gulkana airport in case the fire flares up. Four Fire Boss airplanes aided ground resources to stop the fire 75-100 yards Friday night from four residences, the Tok Cutoff and a nearby construction camp. The aircraft supported firefighters Saturday morning when windy conditions increased fire activity. There has been no increase in acreage. A fire investigator will arrive today to determine the cause of the fire.  

For more information, contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)388-2159 or eipsen@blm.gov. 

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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