Firefighters completed a control line around the Montana Creek Fire (#429) on Friday afternoon and the fire was mapped with a GPS at 365 acres. Containment has increased to 30 percent,, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.
The control line around the fire is a mix of dozer line and saw line cut by crews with chainsaws. Hose and pumps have been set up around the entire perimeter to provide firefighters with a water supply to begin mopping up along and inside the fire perimeter. While a control line has been constructed around the entire fire perimeter, that line needs to be mopped up strengthened to be secure. Crews are also gridding unburned areas outside the perimeter to ensure there are no undetected hot spots outside the control line.
Firefighters are contending with hot, dry conditions as they work to contain the fire. The high temperature on Saturday in the area was 85 degrees. Similar conditions are expected to persist for the next several days.
Local fire departments from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and City of Houston continue to support the fire by providing water tenders to fill portable water tanks set up around the perimeter to provide a water source for firefighters to use as they are mopping up.
Personnel dedicated to setting up protection around structures closest to the fire are poised and ready to respond for initial attack on any new fires that may start in the local area.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation and fire investigators are on scene.
No structures have been damaged and no injuries have been reported. Twenty-nine homes in the Montana Creek area remain in “Level 1: Ready” evacuation status (see attached map). Level 1: Ready evacuation status is not an evacuation order but an alert for residents to be aware there is a possible threat in the area.
Fire managers are asking for the public’s cooperation in avoiding the fire area for safety reasons. There is heavy equipment operating in the area and water tenders are traveling back and forth hauling water
into the fire to fill portable water tanks that firefighters are using to take direct suppression action and strengthen containment lines. Additional traffic in the area poses a safety hazard to both the public and firefighters and interferes with firefighting activity.