Deshka Landing Fire Update August 31

Central Oregon Initial Attack Crew 4 Crew Boss Trainee Kira Santulli Leads Training Simulation at the Deshka Landing Fire on August 30. Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

Deshka Landing Fire Update
August 31, 2019 – 10:30 a.m.

Alan Lawson – Incident Commander
Dave Leitch – Deputy Incident Commander
Fire Information: (907) 715-9205               
Email:  deshkalandingfireinfo@gmail.com
Web: www.akfireinfo.com                          
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6532/
Facebook:  Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Acreage: 1,318           Containment:  90% 
Personnel:   218        Cause: Human Caused

Successful suppression activities over the last few days have resulted in containment of the Deshka Landing Fire at 90 percent. The fire began August 17 in a remote location of state land approximately five miles southwest of Willow, Alaska. The remains at 1,318 acres. 

Firefighters have surrounded the fire by building fire breaks that vary in design with the vegetation and ground conditions. In some areas, unstable trees had to be removed before fire crews could safely work along the perimeter.  Water pumps and hoses were necessary in many areas to fully extinguish hot spots and fire burning deep into the organic matter. Ash pits creating instability along the fire ground pose a safety hazard and are taking more time to extinguish.  Some fire breaks in areas of grass and marsh, were simply cold-trailed by using bare hands or electronic infrared devices to find any hot spots that might remain.  A few areas in the southern portion of the fire have been determined to be too dangerous to directly engage crews as snags and overhead hazards are difficult to mitigate safely. Hoses and sprinklers are being set up to keep this area of the fire from creeping further.

Prineville Hotshot Sawyer Fells Hazard Tree at the Deshka Landing Fire.
Photo: Mike McMillan – DNR

Firefighters are moving further into the fire with a goal of mopping up all hot spots within 300 feet of the line when safe to do so.  This is a necessary tactic to prevent a deep-burning fire from coming to the surface and being blown across containment lines in the future.

Weather:  Light showers fell over the fire last night and will be with us over the next five to seven days. Maximum temperatures will be in the 60s. 

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/.

Private aircraft pilots are reminded that a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) 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.

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.

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