State forestry responding to small wildfire east of Eagle River near Mount Baldy

UPDATE 4 p.m.

An air tanker has successfully boxed in the Steeple Fire with a retardant drop and another tanker drop of a water-enhanced suppressant called BlazeTamer was dropped directly on the fire to knock down the flames. Both drops were effective in calming fire behavior. A helicopter is continuing to make water drops on the fire, using the Eagle River as a water source. Ground crews are continuing to make their way around the fire and are reporting good progress. An investigation revealed the cause of the fire to be an escaped campfire and the investigation is continuing.

ORIGINAL REPORT

Wildland firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry are attacking a small wildfire east of Eagle River near Mount Baldy.

An aerial photo of the Steeple Fire burning east of Eagle River on Monday, August 12, 2019. Firefighters from the Mat-Su Area Forestry are hiking into the fire, which is located on Mount Baldy, about one-half mile from Steeple Drive. Photo by Mat-Su Area helitack.

An aerial photo of the Steeple Fire burning east of Eagle River on Monday, August 12, 2019. Firefighters from the Mat-Su Area Forestry are hiking into the fire, which is located on Mount Baldy, about one-half mile from Steeple Drive. Photo by Mat-Su Area helitack.

The Steeple Fire (#717) was reported just after noon on Monday along Meadow Creek and is located about one-half mile from Steeple Drive east of Eagle River. Several residents in the area reported seeing the fire from their homes. The fire does not pose a threat to any homes at this time.

The Anchorage Fire Department was not able to access the fire and the Division of Forestry was requested to respond. A helitack crew of three firefighters were dropped off and are currently working to contain the fire while the 20-person Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew based in Palmer and a three-person engine crew from Mat-Su Area Forestry are hiking into the fire to assist with containment efforts.

An air tanker based in Palmer dropped one load of retardant on the uphill side of the fire to slow any uphill spread and at least two loads of BlazeTamer, a water-enhanced suppressant, directly on the fire to support suppression efforts on the ground.

Steeple Fire map Aug. 12

A map showing the location of the Steeple Fire burning about one-half mile from Steeple Drive east of Eagle River. For a downloadable PDF version of the map go to Steeple Fire map Aug. 12

 

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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