Hard work by firefighters keeps Montana Creek Fire at about 250 acres

Firefighters worked into the early morning hours on the Montana Creek Fire (#429) and are hard at it again today.  The fire, which was reported shortly before 3 p.m. yesterday, is holding at about 250 acres. No structures have been lost, though some vehicles were burned. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Residents in the Montana Creek area remain on “Level 1: Ready” evacuation Alert. A “Level 1” alert is NOT an evacuation order, but an alert to be ready in the event an evacuation is necessary. The Upper Susitna Senior Center is serving as a gathering point for those who have voluntarily evacuated.

Firefighters are focused today on the right flank of the fire, which had seen the most growth yesterday. Ten cooperating agencies, including Mat-Su Borough local fire departments, have sent engines to provide structure protection. In addition, Alaska Air National Guard Blackhawk helicopters will be providing water drops again today. Air tankers dropping retardant yesterday managed to surround 90 percent of the fire perimeter. They dropped 17 loads of retardant and a water-enhancing gel that helps fight fire. Water-scooping aircraft also helped to halt the spread of the fire.

Crews are expected to start building containment line today. And they will be working with heavy equipment. For the safety of the public and the safety of firefighters, Alaska State Troopers ask that people avoid the area.

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