Crews working on containment line around Malaspina Fire

Aircraft worked until 10 p.m. dropping retardant and water on and around the Malaspina Fire (#451) near the Talkeetna Spur Road-Parks Highway cutoff to slow the spread of the fire, which is estimated at 60 to 80 acres.
 
A helicopter dips a bucket of water out of pond while an air tanker drops a load of retardant on the Malaspina Fire on Sunday, July 7, 2019. Photo by Ed Soto/Alaska Division of Forestry

A helicopter dips a bucket of water out of pond while an air tanker drops a load of retardant on the Malaspina Fire on Sunday, July 7, 2019. Photo by Ed Soto/Alaska Division of Forestry

Crews on the ground are making good progress working to get a containment line around the fire. The Baker River Hotshot Crew, the White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew, the UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew, 16 smokejumpers and firefighting personnel from the Mat-Su Area Forestry office are continuing to work on the containment line.

The Malaspina Fire is located off South Malaspina Loop about one mile north of the Montana Creek Fire (#429) near Mile 98 Parks Highway.

The fire was reported to the Alaska Division of Forestry at about 3:30 p.m. and grew quickly, sending up a large column of smoke.

“Level 3: Go” evacuation orders have been issued for residents who live in the following areas: Alatna Road south to Makuskin Road and Southfork Road west to the entire South Malaspina Loop Road. A “Level 2: Set” evacuation notice has been issued for residents living within 2 miles of the “Level 3: Go” evacuation area. The original “Level 2: Set” notice was for residents living within 5 miles of the “Level 3″ Go” order but was later reduced to 2 miles. An evacuation shelter has been established at the Upper Susitna Senior Center.

This photo of the Malaspina Fire (#451) was taken at around 8 p.m. after aircraft had made multiple retardant and water drops on the fire. Photo by Tim Whitesell/Alaska Division of Forestry

Multiple air tankers were launched to drop retardant around the fire while water-scooping aircraft and helicopters, including two Blackhawks from the Alaska Air National Guard, were brought in to drop water on the fire. The retardant drops were effective and helped slow the spread of the fire.

The Baker River Hotshots and the White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack crew were pulled off the nearby Montana Creek Fire and sent to the Malaspina Fire to help with initial attack.  Engines and water tenders from local fire departments in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are on scene to assist with structure protection.

The cause of the fire is undetermined and is under investigation.

A map that shows the location of the Malaspina Fire (#451). For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to Malaspina Fire (3451) locator map July 7.

 

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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