Firefighters complete control line around Montana Creek Fire; containment up to 30 percent

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.

A bulldozer works to clear a control line around the 365-acre Montana Creek Fire on Friday, July 5, 2019. Photo by Josh Turnbow/UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew

A bulldozer works to clear a control line around the 365-acre Montana Creek Fire on Friday, July 5, 2019. Photo by Josh Turnbow/UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew

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.

A map showing the area where a “Level 1/Ready” evacuation alert has been issued for the Montana Creek Fire burning near Mile 98 of the Parks Highway. For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to Level 1-Ready evac map for Montana Creek.

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.

A helicopter drops water on an active part of the Montana Creek Fire on Friday, July 5, 2019. Photo by Josh Turnbow/UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew

A helicopter drops water on an active part of the Montana Creek Fire on Friday, July 5, 2019. Photo by Josh Turnbow/UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew

 

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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