Deshka Landing Fire Update August 29, 2019

McKenzie River Type 2 Initial Attack Crewmembers. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

Successful outcomes of suppression tactics on the Deshka Landing Fire have brought containment of the fire to 75 percent. A small amount of fireline construction is necessary on two significant spot fires near the south end of the fire, but are expected to be completed today. Despite good progress being made, residents of the Red Shirt Lake community and the surrounding fire areas, should remain diligent in their state of readiness.

Dry conditions are making fires extremely resistant to control. The deep organic material in some areas continues to smolder making mop up more difficult. However, resources assigned to the fire continue working hard toward 100 percent containment and control. Firefighters will patrolling and monitoring the entire fire perimeter for the next few days.

Helicopter Use: The use of helicopters has been essential to the suppression of this fire. To date, 132 flight hours have been logged on the fire. In that time, helicopters have dropped over 163,000 gallons of water and transported more than 161,000 pounds of cargo to firefighters in remote locations. Several violations by private aircraft of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire have been reported. The number of incidents is declining as private pilots become more aware of the TFR and work with the fire’s air operations staff to avoid conflicts. 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:
Three significant injuries have been reported on the fire to date: two minor leg injuries and foreign object in the eye, and puncture to the leg.


Closures: Game Management Unit 14A and State lands in the area remain closed to public access. The hunting public is respecting the recent closures around the fire area and firefighters continue to work safely without incident. Details on the hunting closure can be found at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6532/50528/.

Structure Protection Measures In Place At Red Shirt Lake. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR


A portion of the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is also closed to recreation and hunting to avoid safety issues while firefighters work in the area. On Tuesday, the closure order was modified to open the eastern portion of the Recreation Area. Details are located at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6532/50651/


Due to the extreme weather conditions, the Alaska wildfire season has been extended and an emergency burn order closure for both the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna Borough remains in place. For more information go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/, or contact Tim Mowry, Division of Forestry Public Information Officer at (907) 356-5512 or email questions to tim.mowry@alaska.gov.


Current Weather: The abnormally warm and dry weather should continue at least through Friday. It is possible that smoke from other fires to the south may drift into the area. Scattered showers may occur by the weekend, but the amount of rain expected is uncertain.


The Northwest Incident Management Team 10 would like to thank the public for their support during the Deshka Landing Fire. Fire danger remains extremely high across the state. Be sure to check with your local fire agencies for restrictions and for forest and state closures.

Bald Eagle Scoops Up Pike At Red Shirt Lake. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

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