Deshka Landing Fire Daily Update September 5

The Deshka Landing Fire, which started on August 17, five miles south west of Willow, Alaska is nearing containment. The fire is 95 percent contained and remains at 1,318 acres. Firefighters are feeling more confident each day as mop-up continues around the perimeter of the fire. Even though the area has received significant rainfall over the last few days, pockets of unburned fuel beneath the surface could be visible to the public as the fire continues to smolder.

Yesterday, helicopters were busy removing excess equipment from the west side of the fire and flying sling loads back to the staging area. That work will continue throughout today with air operations personnel backhauling, a method used to return cargo.  Initially, pumps, hoses, and sprinklers were set up around cabins on Red Shirt Lake preparing for the potential fire threat. With the suppression efforts on the Deshka Landing Fire and the expected change in weather, fire managers do not anticipate any fire growth.

The Staging Area crew hurries to gather fire hose returned from the fire line.

Four 20-person crews from Oregon are working on mopping up the southeastern perimeter and on the two large spot fires south of the main fire.  The Tok, Alaska based Tanana Chiefs crew and a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) crew from Medford, Oregon are working on the southwestern border.  The Snake River Valley and the McKenzie River crews from Oregon are headed home today.

Aircraft Issues:  On the Deshka Landing Fire, helicopters are actively removing excess equipment and supplies. To decrease any potential accidents between private aircraft and fire aircraft, a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) is in effect over the Deshka Landing Fire from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Fire managers have been concerned by the frequent intrusions into the TFR. Air Attack Supervisor Dean Thornberry explains concerns ( Specific information about the TFR can be found at: Air operations personnel are urging private pilots to contact them if there is a need to enter or leave the TFR.

Emergency Burning Restrictions Lifted:  The emergency burn closure issued on August 21 on state, private and municipal lands in the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna Borough was rescinded at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 4. For more information go to

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:   A portion of the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is still closed to recreation and hunting to avoid safety issues with firefighters working in the area. Over a week ago the closure order was modified to open the eastern portion of the Recreation Area. Details are located at:

Fire Information: (907) 715-9205                   


Facebook:  Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Acreage: 1,318              Containment:  95%           
Personnel:   189           Start Date: 08/17/2019

Categories: AK Fire Info

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