Deshka Landing Fire Update For August 27, 2019

Prineville Hotshot Sawyer Hikes Fireline – Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

Acreage – 1,341               Containment – 50%              Personnel – 242

CURRENT SITUATION: The Deshka Landing Fire continues to moderately creep and smolder with minimal growth. The northern portion of the fire is in mop-up operations. Fire crews are mopping in approximately 300 feet from the fireline where safe to do so. Firefighters are using ATVs to monitor and patrol the northeastern flank, extinguishing any visible hotspots.

Much of the terrain within the fire-burned area remains extremely dry. Heavy organic material continues to burn deeply, causing pockets of fuel to smolder. The public could see smoke from flare-ups over the next several months.

Fire crews successfully completed structure protection efforts along the Red Shirt Lake area and are now working on the two spot fires outside the southern perimeter, building containment lines and cooling hotspots.

Fire Activity – South Flank of Deshka Landing Fire. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

Both the McKinley and Deshka Landing Fires rely heavily on helicopters to transport supplies, equipment and firefighters to the line. The pilots, aircraft managers, and support personnel on the ground have worked as a team to avoid any injuries or mishaps with aircraft. However, in recent days, air operations on the Deshka Landing Fire have noted many violations by private aircraft of the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR), a federal regulation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is a very serious and dangerous situation which could affect the safety of the public and firefighters. The TFR is designated to prevent conflicts between fire aircraft operations and regular air travel. The TFR over the Deshka Landing Fire is in effect from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. everyday. Specific information about the TFR can be found at: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_5299.html. Pilots that may have to operate in or near the TFR should contact the Fire Information Office at (907) 715-9205 to coordinate with the air operation staff on the Deshka Landing Fire.

FIREFIGHTER INJURIES: Only two significant injuries have been reported on the fire to-date: a minor leg burn from stepping in an ash pit and a foreign object in the eye.

CLOSURES: The hunting public is also contributing to firefighter safety by respecting the recent closures in the area. Game Management Unit 14A and State lands in the area have been closed to public access. Details can be found at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6532/50528/. The Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is also closed to recreation and hunting to avoid conflicts with firefighters and equipment.

EVACUATIONS: There are no evacuation orders in effect at this point. Residents living to the east and south of the fire are urged to stay informed on the fire status.

WEATHER: Rain fell over the Incident Command Post which is located in Big Lake, however, there was no reported rain over the fire area. Light and variable winds are expected over the next two days becoming warmer and drier.

Prineville Hotshot Sawyer Fells Fire-Weakened Tree. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

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