The 1,318 acre Deshka Landing Fire, which started on August 17 five miles south west of Willow, Alaska remains at 95 percent containment. Two Bureau of Land Management crews from Oregon were released today to head home; Crew 10 from Medford, and the Snake River Valley Crew 10 from Vail. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Medford and SRV crews for their excellent work,” said Incident Commander Al Lawson.
With the dry weather Thursday, much was accomplished. The four remaining crews on the fire continue to mop up hot spots within 300 feet of control lines on the fire’s southern perimeter and in the isolated spot fires. Fire hose, pumps, and other equipment no longer needed are being hauled back by firefighters on foot, in ATVs, and with helicopters.
The mop up task is being aided by a Thermal Imaging Camera that was loaned to the fire by Assistant Chief James Keel with the West Lakes Fire Department. This device enables operators to safely locate hot spots that otherwise may have been missed. It helps firefighters find where to focus their efforts and could help prevent another accident when a firefighter steps into a hot “ash pit” that could cause serious burns.
Cabins along Red Shirt Lake south of the fire are no longer threatened. Crews are gathering up hoses, pumps, and sprinklers that were set up to protect structures around the lake shore when the fire had the potential to spread to the south. This equipment is being flown out by helicopter to the staging area.
As helicopters make repeated trips to remove cargo from the fireline, pilots and firefighters on the ground are concerned about repeated incursions into the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) by private aircraft. Three incidents were reported on Thursday. In a short video, Air Attack Supervisor, Dean Thornberry explained his concerns and what pilots can do if they need to access the area; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEnEHV-ryQo). Specific information about the TFR can be found at: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_9_5299.html.
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issued on August 21 on state, private and municipal lands in the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna Borough was rescinded at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 4. Open burning and burn barrels are still prohibited. For more information go to http://dnr.alaska.gov/.
Weather: Warm and dry conditions will continue through Friday and into Saturday. On Sunday, there is a chance of low pressure moving into the area bringing some rain.
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 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: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/6532/50651/
Alan Lawson – Incident Commander
Dave Leitch – Deputy Incident Commander
Acreage: 1,318 Containment: 95%
Personnel: 145 Start Date: 08/17/2019
Categories: AK Fire Info