MLK Fire in Anchorage 95 percent contained; crews still mopping up

The MLK Fire near Campbell Tract in East Anchorage remains at 25 acres and is currently 95% contained with 38 personnel still dedicated to working on it, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.

On Thursday night, a Technical Support Unit from the Anchorage Police Department provided an aerial reconnaissance flight to the fire management team utilizing an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), otherwise known as a drone, equipped with an infrared camera. The drone flight verified that firefighters on the ground had successfully held the fire within the original containment lines.

Today, crews will continue to work on securing the containment line 40 feet in from the perimeter. This will require pumping thousands of gallons of water to the fire using long hose lays, felling fire-weakened trees near the containment lines, and digging up smoldering roots and other ground fuels.

The public may smell smoke in the area, as unburned vegetation deep within the interior of the fire is slowly burned up. Firefighters will eventually mop up the interior of the fire, but due to safety concerns, they are systematically working from the perimeter in toward the interior. The greatest hazard to firefighting personnel are the numerous fire-weakened trees falling without warning due to burnt root systems. The public is also reminded that access to the fire area is restricted to incident personnel only. This is for the safety of the public as well as our firefighters.

This fire remains a high priority to emergency service responders and the firefighters will continue around the clock efforts to completely extinguish the MLK fire.

The cause of the MLK Fire remains under investigation.

For more information, call the Alaska interagency wildfire information office 907-356-5511.

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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