Extensive Mop-up Operations Continue on the Deshka Landing Fire

Acres Burned – 1,318 Containment – 80% Personnel – 230

Containment of the Deshka Landing fire is now at 80 percent, but much work remains. Fireline construction is nearly completed, with mop-up operations, patrolling and monitoring ongoing on the fire. As dry conditions continue and the fire has yet to be fully contained and controlled, pumps and infrastructure placed around structures during the past several operational periods will remain in place. Crews are beginning to remove non-essential supplies off the fire line.

Department of Natural Resources Agency Administrator Ed Soto (left) and visiting Agency Administrator Tim Sexton of Idaho (center) speak with Prineville Hotshots Superintendent Eric Miller at the Deshka Landing Fire. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

Dry conditions are making the fire extremely resistant to control. As an example, the Buildup Index (BUI), an analysis tool used on wildland fires, takes into consideration fuel conditions the area has experienced in a prolonged drought https://fire.ak.blm.gov/predsvcs/fuelfire.php.  These numbers are over 5 times higher than the average at this time of year, reaching record highs. Deep organic material in some areas continues to smolder and creep. As pockets of unburned fuel burn, smoke may be visible to the public for several months. Firefighters are working hard toward 100 percent containment and control. 

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/.  

A portion of the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is also closed to recreation and hunting to avoid safety issues while firefighters working  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/6532/50528. Residents of the Red Shirt Lake community and other areas surrounding the Deshka Landing Fire should remain diligent in their state of readiness.

Weather: The abnormally warm and dry weather should continue on Friday.  Beginning late Friday night or early Saturday morning, scattered showers may occur, with a better prospect for rain on Sunday.  The amount of moisture expected is uncertain. 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/. For burn closure information contact: Tim Mowry, Division of Forestry Public Information Officer at (907) 356-5512 or email questions to tim.mowry@alaska.gov. 

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