Firefighters battling fire threatening Huslia

Map of Long Lake Fire (#150) three miles east of Huslia.

Map of Long Lake Fire (#150) three miles east of Huslia. Click on link 150_Long_Lake_GAD_060518 for PDF version of map.

The BLM Alaska Fire Service is busy battling a fire threatening the village of Huslia. The Long Lake Fire (#150) was spotted at 4:34 p.m. Tuesday by a BLM AFS firefighter aboard an aircraft shuttling supplies and personnel from Galena to Huslia where they were staged for the Deniktaw Ridge Fire (#117). The Galena Zone Fire Specialist witnessed the lightning strike that sparked the fire about three miles east of the Huslia. He described the fire as wind-driven and growing fast. By 5:38 p.m., it was reported to be 10 acres with a 100 percent active perimeter burning in black spruce and tundra. A load of eight Alaska smokejumpers, which had just demobilized from the Deniktaw Ridge Fire and were geared up in Galena to go to another fire, were diverted back to the area for the Long Lake Fire. Two water-scooping Fire Boss airplanes staged overnight in Galena and were scrambled for a quick response. They were able use a nearby water source to quickly dump numerous 750-800 gallon drops of water on the fire. BLM AFS’s Type 2 training crew, the North Star Fire Crew, had been placed on hold in Huslia while waiting to see if they were needed on the Long Lake Fire instead of the 160-acre Deniktaw Ridge Fire burning about 37 miles northeast of the Koyukuk River village. However, they were released to respond to their original fire around 6:30 p.m. after fire officials in Galena were feeling confident that the combination of suppression efforts on the ground and air gave firefighters the upper hand on the Long Lake Fire.

The Long Lake Fire was one of 49 active fires burning across Alaska as of 7 p.m. Tuesday – an increase of 16 on Tuesday. Eight fires were staffed as of Tuesday evening.

For more information, contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at email eipsen@blm.gov or (907)356-5510 or (907)388-2159.

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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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