State forestry working to contain small wildfire in steep country near Crow Pass Trail

The Alaska Division of Forestry is currently working to contain a small wildfire that started on Sunday near the Crow Pass Trail east of Anchorage in Chugach State Park.

This photo shows the steep terrain the Crow Pass Fire is burning in near the Crow Pass Trail east of Anchorage in Chugach State Park. Photo by Mat-Su Area helitack

This photo shows the steep terrain the Crow Pass Fire is burning in near the Crow Pass Trail east of Anchorage in Chugach State Park. Photo by Mat-Su Area helitack

The Crow Pass Fire (#713) was reported by passing aircraft at about 5 p.m. Sunday in the Eagle River drainage near Icicle Creek. The fire was estimated at one-half acre and was burning in black spruce and brush.

A helicopter from the Mat-Su Area Forestry office in Palmer was launched to the fire with a helitack crew of three firefighters.

The fire is located in steep, rocky terrain near Mile 17 of the 22.6-mile Cross Pass Trail, on the north side of the Eagle River about 6 miles from the Eagle River Nature Center.

Firefighters on the ground attempted to climb up to the fire on Sunday but were turned back by falling rocks that made accessing the fire on foot too dangerous. The helicopter made multiple water drops on the fire Sunday night to help keep it contained within the rocky area. Given its location and available fuels, the threat of the fire spreading is fairly low.

The fire is only about 200 to 300 feet off the Crow Pass Trail but does not pose a threat to hikers at this point and the trail remains open.

A helicopter from Mat-Su Area Forestry returned on Monday morning to drop more water on the fire in an attempt to put it out but given the rocky, mossy terrain, it will likely continue to smolder with smoke visible from the Cross Pass Trail.

The Division of Forestry will continue to monitor the fire by air and will coordinate any suppression efforts with Chugach State Park officials.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time and is under investigation.

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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