Deshka Landing Fire Update, Labor Day – September 2

The containment of the Deshka Landing Fire remains at 95 percent and total acres burned at 1,318. Cooler temperatures and light rain aid firefighters as they systematically move through the fire area within 300 feet of the perimeter. As we grow closer to containment of the Deshka Landing Fire, crews will begin the demobilization process and helicopters will begin backhauling excess equipment from remote campsites.

At the height of the fire, seven crews worked together to bring the fire to 95 percent containment. Typically, fire crews are given a 14 day assignment. Today the first crew heads for home. The Gannett Glacier Crew from Palmer, Alaska has been on the fire since August 21.

The Tanana Chiefs Fire Crew from the Tok, Alaska area under the leadership of Gilbert Frank, has gone from fire to fire in Alaska since May. On Sunday, they left the fire temporarily for two days of rest in Anchorage before they return on Wednesday to finish the good work they started.

Members of the crew say the biggest challenges they faced on Deshka Landing were the many hazards such as ash pits, unstable trees, and standing dead vegetation. Since arriving, they have been stationed on the south side of the main fire and camping near their work area. Food, water, and other necessities have been air-lifted by helicopter to their camp. They all take turns at getting up early to make coffee, or cooking for the crew. They say they enjoy the remote firefighting experience because it was quiet and they do not mind doing without the comforts of home. The Tanana Chiefs said working on the Deshka Landing Fire was a good place to work. “It was a good place for hiking around,” said Gilbert Frank. “Many of the fires in Alaska involve walking in very wet areas. Here, the ground was dry.” He also praised the fire managers for their ability to support their efforts and supply them with the food and equipment they needed while camping out near the fire.

Emergency Burning Restrictions: 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/.

Aircraft Safety: 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: Portions of 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. Last 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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Deshka Landing Fire

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: 95% 
Personnel: 217 Start Date: 08/17/2019

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