The Alaska Division of Forestry continues to work on containing two lightning-caused wildfires – one that started Sunday southwest of Fairbanks and one that started Monday north of Talkeetna.
The 116-acre Livingston Fire about 15 miles southwest of Fairbanks is now 65 percent contained and fire managers are expecting the fire to be fully contained by the end of shift Tuesday night. Firefighters on the ground were assisted by water-scooping aircraft from the BLM Alaska Fire Service on Monday. Two water-scoopers dropped approximately 18,000 gallons of water on the fire Monday to address areas of heat that were found along the perimeter and in the interior of the fire.
The estimated acreage for the fire was reduced from 167 acres on Monday due to better mapping. There are 70 personnel still assigned to the fire.
Meanwhile, there are 48 personnel assigned to the Prairie Fire, located about 40 miles northeast of Talkeetna. That fire was reported at 3 to 5 acres just after 3 p.m. on Monday but had grown to an estimated 33 acres as of late Monday night.
Due to the remote location of the fire, firefighters had to be helicoptered in to work on the fire. Three firefighters from the Mat-Su Area forestry office were initially flown into the fire to protect two cabins threatened by the fire. Two air tankers – one based in Palmer and one in Fairbanks – each dropped two loads of retardant around the perimeter of the Monday to keep it from spreading further.
The Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew was shuttled into the fire Monday evening, as was half of the Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew. The remaining half of the Gannett Glacier crew were flown into the fire on Tuesday morning, putting the total number of personnel working on the fire at 48.
The first priority Monday night was cutting landing zones for helicopters near the perimeter of the fire in the event of a medical emergency. Crews will begin cutting a saw line around the fire today to help contain the spread of the fire. Once a saw line has been cut around the fire, crews will begin searching for hotspots and mopping up.
The fire is roughly 3 miles south of Stephan Lake, which has a hunting lodge and cabins built around it.
For more information about the Livingston Fire contact Tim Mowry at (907) 356-5512. For more information about the Prairie Fire contact Sarah Saarloos at (907) 761-6233.