Deshka Landing Fire Crews Make Good Progress

Good progress has been made over the last two days on the Deshka Landing Fire. Firefighters providing structure protection and working to prepare homes in the Red Shirt Lake area removing brush, setting up pumps and laying hose around structures. Operations personnel anticipate completing work in that area over the next few days. Approximately 1,543 acres have burned and the fire is now 20 percent contained.

Firefighters continue to spike out (remote camps set up to more readily access the fireline and areas of operation) along the western and southwestern perimeter cold trailing and carefully inspecting for heat. With the heavy vegetation along the eastern perimeter, handline crews have had to either walk or fly into the area. Heavy brush, beetle kill and fire-weakened trees have slowed crews down. Excavators have been ordered to assist the progress in that area. Helicopters continue to be used to move equipment and personnel into remote sections of the fire and to support work on the ground.

The community meeting held on Thursday, August 22 at the Willow Elementary School was well attended. Community leaders and fire officials from both the Deshka Landing and McKinley fires updated residents on the current situation. Additional community meetings will be scheduled as needed.

There are no evacuation orders in affect at this point. Residents living to the east of the fire are urged to be prepared for evacuation if conditions change. The Red Shirt Lake area has been closed for recreational and public use. A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) is in place over the fire area which includes the north half of Red Shirt Lake. Access for homeowners is only allowed through the southern portion of the lake.

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is closed to recreation and hunting. Hunters are being urged to stay away from the fire area to assure no conflicts with firefighters. Due to the location of the Deshka Landing Fire and related firefighting activity, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed a portion of Game Management Unit 14A to hunting and the Department of Natural Resources has restricted all public access to State lands in the area. For additional information on the closure order:

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, Division of Forestry Public Information Officer, 907-356-5512,

CONTACT: Gino Del Frate, (907) 861-2123,

Categories: AK Fire Info

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