Firefighters begin mopping up 25-acre wildfire in East Anchorage

Firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry haul hose and other supplies down a trail to access and mop up the M.L.K. Fire in East Anchorage on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters from Mat-Su Area Forestry haul hose and other supplies down a trail to access and mop up the M.L.K. Fire in East Anchorage on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry

Two 20-person crews and additional firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry are working today to contain the 25-acre M.L.K. Fire (#423) in East Anchorage.

The fire, which began yesterday afternoon near the Campbell Tract, is holding at 25 acres and 30 percent containment. Aircraft dropping water and retardant helped to stop the spread of the fire. Smokejumpers worked into the early morning hours looking for hotspots. Firefighters also placed a hose line around the fire to provide a water supply to extinguish any hot spots found.

The Baker River Interagency Hotshot Crew from California was mobilized to the fire from the Swan Lake Fire on Tuesday evening and the Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew was pulled from a fire near Lake Louise to assist with containment. A task force of four engines was also brought up from the Swan Lake Fire. There are a total of 66 personnel assigned to the fire.

Today, the two crews, along with firefighters from the Mat-Su Area forestry office, are focused on creating a saw line – cutting a swath through the vegetation around the perimeter of the fire to keep it from expanding. Fire managers expect to complete containment this evening.

A squad of firefighters from Mat-Su Area Forestry walk into the M.L.K. Fire to begin mop up operations on Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry

A squad of firefighters from Mat-Su Area Forestry walk into the M.L.K. Fire to begin mop up operations on Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry

The Anchorage Fire Department is assisting with two engines, a water tender, and an ambulance. The Anchorage Police Department is assisting with perimeter patrols around the fire scene and along the trails. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

For the safety of the public and firefighters, trails in the area remain closed at this time.

The M.L.K. Fire in east Anchorage burned primarily in black spruce, as seen in this photo taken Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry

The M.L.K. Fire in east Anchorage burned primarily in black spruce, as seen in this photo taken Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry

 

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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