Crews continue to seek out hot spots on Chistochina River Fire

Crews continue mopping up the Chistochina River Fire (#381). They secured at least 50 feet in from the fire’s perimeter yesterday. The goal is to ensure the entire 98 acre fire is mopped up and all hot spots are extinguished. This should be enough work to keep the remaining crews busy until early next week. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanook Fire Crew demobilized from the fire today and will be heading to a fire assignment in the Lower 48. Emergency firefighters from Minto and Marshall make up the bulk of the personnel assigned to the fire. The crews are supported by personnel from Division of Forestry (DOF) and nearby volunteer fire departments. Division of Forestry investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. Unburned fuels within the perimeter continue to smolder with some occasional torching observed.

The fire started on Friday and burned within 100 yards of four residences, the Tok Cutoff near mile 36.5 and a nearby construction camp. With the help of four water-scooping airplanes, firefighters caught the fire that night, then knocked down spot fires Saturday morning to keep the fire at 98 acres. The focus then turned to securing the line and mopping up the fire. Crews reached 100 percent containment Tuesday night.

There is still a burn suspension in place for the Copper River Basin and Tok areas due to near Red Flag Warning conditions. Both areas are expected to have temperatures in the 70s with breezy winds. Fortunately, the humidity levels are expected to keep it from reaching red flag conditions today. Nonetheless, there is very high fire danger in both areas. This should subside when cooler weather moves in to most of the state this weekend.

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

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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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