The Malaspina Fire (#451) started on July 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the Yoder Subdivision area and South Malaspina Loop near Talkeetna. Firefighters working the nearby Montana Creek Fire (#429) immediately responded to provide initial attack on the new fire and protect area residences. The Malaspina Fire is estimated to be about 100 acres in size and is now 10% contained, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry.
Air tankers dropped retardant and water scoopers and helicopters dropped water late into the evening to slow the fire’s spread. The Baker River Hotshots, White Mountain Fire Crew, Matanuska-Susitna Borough fire engines and water tenders and 16 smokejumpers constructed fireline, set up hose lays and doused hotspots into the early morning hours. One structure and one outbuilding were reported destroyed, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
There are two properties in the immediate fire area under a “Level 3: Go” evacuation order. A “Level 2: Set” evacuation noticed remains in place for residents of Alatna Road south to Makuskin Road, and residents of Southfork Road west, including all of South Malaspina Loop Road. Residents of these areas are advised to be ready to evacuate if conditions change.
The Upper Susitna Senior Center is being used as an evacuation center and is located at 16463 E. Helena Drive in Talkeetna.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team from Washington has been ordered to assume command of both the Montana Creek Fire and Malaspina Fires.
The Montana Creek Fire is 30% contained and 367 acres in size, with firefighters mopping up hot spots and strengthening control lines near area residences. Two 20-person hand crews remain working on the fire and patrolling the area. Currently there are approximately 150 personnel assigned to both the Montana Creek Fire and Malaspina Fires.
Fire restrictions remain in effect for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and fire danger remains high as hot and dry weather persists into the weekend. For more information please visit www.akfireinfo.com and the Alaska Division of Natural Resources Facebook page @ AK.forestry and @MatSuBorough. On Twitter please visit @AK_Forestry.