McKinley Fire Video: Drone Footage Showing Burn Intensities and Fire Weakened Trees Falling Down

McKinleyFire REMINDER: If you fly, we can’t! The drone footage we are sharing with you was captured by our drone (Unmanned Aircraft System) specialists who coordinate all flights with the Air Operations Branch Director. The UAS is considered another aircraft on a fire and requires coordination with aerial supervision staff to ensure it doesn’t cross paths with helicopters or planes that may be dropping water or retardant, shuttling and deploying crews and supplies, or performing aerial reconnaissance of the fire. Because both operate near the ground, helicopters and quadcopters cannot be used in the same area of operations at the same time.

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Yesterday firefighters worked to extinguish recently discovered hotspots, including several that were located under downed trees.  Firefighting efforts continue to focus in areas near structures and access roads. Crews are gridding these areas while heavy equipment is being used to move trees and mop-up the deep smoldering duff layers.  The fire perimeter largely remains in patrol and monitor status. The warm and dry weather is forecast to continue through Saturday with only a slight chance of showers early Sunday morning into early next week.

As the warm sunny weather continues and leaf fall increases, there is some risk that birch and aspen leaf fall could land on hot spots and ignite.  Day and nightshift crews are aware of this potential and they will continue to patrol and monitor the fire area. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or “drone” infrared flights  and handheld devices are utilized daily to search for additional hotspots.  

An estimated 35 miles of fire hose, 106 chainsaws and 70 pumps have been supplied on the McKinley fire.  Once this equipment is no longer needed for firefighting efforts, it is “backhauled” to base camp where it is collected and shipped back to fire caches.  At the caches, the equipment is cleaned and refurbished so it is ready for the next fire.

Extreme caution and a high level of awareness is urged for residents within the fire perimeter and woodcutters along the Parks Highway. Deep pockets of burning organic material called ash pits, along with snags pose significant dangers to anyone inside the burn area.  

All power is restored to the area and any residents experiencing issues should call the Matanuska Electric Association.  Residences from milepost 81.5 to 92 of the Parks Highway are still in evacuation “Level 1-Ready.” The Parks Highway speed limit remains 45 mph through the fire vicinity.

Closures: A portion of Willow Swamp (Game Management Unit 14A) is closed due to the Deshka Landing Fire. For more info, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at  A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is still in effect over the McKinley Fire. 

Disaster Assistance: There are several agencies with information on disaster assistance; please visit Alaska Wildland Fire Information: for detailed contact information. 

Disaster Assistance Centers will be open for fire survivors to register for the State of Alaska Individual Assistance. Locations include: 

Willow United Methodist Church (29286 Parks Hwy) Willow, AK 99688, September 4-18 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m

LAST DAY – Upper Susitna Community Center (16463 Helena Ave), Talkeetna, AK 99676 – Sept 6 from 9 – 12:00

Fire Information: 907-313-9826 Email: Facebook: You Tube:

#akwildfire #alaskawildfire #dnrwildfire #msbem

McKinley Fire, Deshka Fire, Alaska Wildfires, Wildfires 2019, Willow Alaska, DOF Wildfires, BLM Alaska, AK Fire Info, Mat-Su Wildfire

Categories: AK Fire Info


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