The Deshka Landing Fire near Willow has not grown significantly in the last 48 hours and no structures or private land have been involved. The fire size remains estimated at 2,217 acres and the fire is 10 percent contained as of Thursday morning.
Approximately 150 firefighters and support personnel are actively engaged in various tasks to limit the fire’s spread using direct tactics assisted by water and retardant aircraft. On Wednesday, an Interagency Incident Management Team from the northwestern states under the leadership of Incident Commander Alan Lawson assumed management of the fire.
Wednesday’s efforts were focused on the south and eastern flanks of the fire, building line directly on the fire’s edge and using pumps and hoses to get water where it’s needed to extinguish and mop up hot spots. Helicopters were used extensively Wednesday to move equipment and personnel into remote sections of the fire and to support work on the ground by dropping water on hot spots.
One of the issues facing firefighters is the danger from falling trees in the forested areas. With the extremely dry conditions, the fire is moving into the root systems of both live and dead trees and trees are falling over. Certified fallers are cutting trees before firelines can actively be built in some areas.
A community meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Willow Elementary School. Personnel from the incident management team will be on hand to provide an update on the fire and answer questions from the public.