Malaspina and Montana Creek fire update – July 9, 2019: Type 2 IMT takes command of fires

A member of the Fairbanks-based White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew carries a chainsaw up a smoldering hill on the Malaspina Fire on Monday, July 8, 2019. Photo by Mike McMillan/Alaska Division of Forestry

A member of the Fairbanks-based White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew carries a chainsaw up a smoldering hill on the Malaspina Fire on Monday, July 8, 2019. Photo by Mike McMillan/Alaska Division of Forestry

Firefighters on the Malaspina Fire made excellent progress on Monday, completing direct fireline construction with chainsaws and establishing hose lays around the fire’s perimeter. Interior portions of the fire remain active. The fire is 85 acres in size and 20% contained.

The White Mountain Fire Crew, Matanuska-Susitna Borough fire engines and water tenders, and eight smokejumpers worked to secure control lines around area homes and douse hot spots.

One structure and one outbuilding were destroyed in the early stages of the Malaspina Fire, which started July 7 at 3:30 p.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A Level 2: “Get Set” Evacuation Order remains in effect for the Malaspina Fire, affecting about 107 primary residences and outbuildings. An evacuation center is established at the Upper Susitna Valley Senior Center, located at 16463 East Helena Drive in Talkeetna.

The Montana Creek Fire is 365 acres in size and 30% contained. Interior sections of heat remain active, and the 20-person Ranier Fire Crew worked through the day to improve control lines around area structures and douse hot spots. A Level 1: “Get Ready” Evacuation Notification remains in place for the fire, affecting about 170 primary residences and outbuildings. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A member of the UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew refuels a chainsaw on the west flank of the Malaspina Fire on Monday, July 8, 2019.

A member of the UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew refuels a chainsaw on the west flank of the Malaspina Fire on Monday, July 8, 2019.

The Pacific Northwest Type 2 Incident Management (Team 12) will assume command of both the Montana Creek and Malaspina Fires on Wednesday, July 10. The increase in size of the fire management team enables fire managers to allocate more resources to both fires as needed, as well as staffing more firefighters ready to respond to new fire starts in the area. A total of 153 personnel are currently assigned to the Montana Creek and Malaspina Fires.

Hot and dry conditions will persist through Tuesday, giving way to a pattern of isolated thunderstorms and isolated showers developing in the coming days.

The Alaska Division of Forestry has issued a ban on all campfires, warming fires, cooking fires, and all burning activities that normally require a burning permit for an extensive area of Southcentral and Interior Alaska, including the boroughs of Denali, Fairbanks North Star, the Kenai Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna, and the Municipality of Anchorage. The public is advised to remain vigilant and observe fire restrictions. For more information about fire restrictions in your area, please visit www.akfireinfo.com and the Alaska Division of Natural Resources Facebook page @ AK.forestry and @MatSuBorough. On Twitter please visit @AK_Forestry.

A map showing the areas that "Level 1: Ready" and "Level 2: Set" evacuation notices have been issued for the Malaspina and Montana Creek fires near Talkeetna.

A map showing the areas that “Level 1: Ready” and “Level 2: Set” evacuation notices have been issued for the Malaspina and Montana Creek fires near Talkeetna. For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to Malaspina and Montana Creek PDF evacuation level map

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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