BLM AFS working on two fires in Western Alaska

BLM Alaska Fire Service responded to a new fire about 17 miles north of Russian Mission today while work continues on the Lake Minakokosa Fire (#221) burning 50 miles east of Kobuk.

Two fire Boss aircraft and eight smokejumpers are working on the roughly 15-acre Kuyukutuk Fire (#224) after it was detected using satellite imagery this morning. The BLM AFS Galena Fire Management Zone sent an aircraft to check on the possible fire. Once there, the firefighter personnel aboard reported the fire was 40 percent active and burning through tundra in a full management option area. The two fire bosses, plus eight smokejumpers who had just wrapped up work on the Darby Mountains Fire about 15 miles northwest of Koyuk, were deployed to work on the fire.

Smokejumpers arrived at about 3 p.m. and are trying to suppress the fire. It is not immediately threatening any structures or other valuable resources.

Photo of the Kuyukutuk Fire (#224) is burning in tundra about 17 miles north of Russian Mission and Marshal on June 10, 2019. It is estimated to be 15 acres in size.
The Kuyukutuk Fire (#224) is burning in tundra about 17 miles north of Russian Mission and Marshal on June 10, 2019. It is estimated to be 15 acres in size. Photo by Tony Chapman, BLM AFS

Meanwhile, smokejumpers and water-scooping Fire Boss aircraft were able to knock down the Lake Minakokosa Fire burning on the north end of the lake it is named after Monday night. They were able to save the construction site where the fire started and the eight smokejumpers are working toward containment. This fire is also estimated at 15 acres and burning in tundra with sparse spruce trees. They anticipate it will take a few days to contain and mop up the fire because it is burning in timber.

Photo of the the Lake Minakokosa Fire (#221), burning 50 miles east of Kobuk in this photo dated June 10, 2019.
The Lake Minakokosa Fire (#221) is burning 50 miles east of Kobuk in this photo dated June 10, 2019. Photo by Tony Chapman, BLM AFS

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

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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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