McKinley Fire Update Sept 16 2019 – Bonus 1 Minute Video of Training by Alaska Fire Medics

Acreage: 3,288   Containment: 95%       Start Date: 8/17/2019

Alaskan Type 3 Incident Commander Zane Brown and his team continue to work towards the goal of being the final team to bring closure to the ongoing tasks of suppression and repair. Firefighters continue steady progress removing hazard trees and extinguishing pockets of burning duff 100 feet around structures. The remaining work is mostly located in Yancey East and Yancey West areas of the fire. 

1 Minute YouTube Video: McKinley Fire practice medical exercise on September 15 2019. Alaska Fire Paramedic Heather Buben packages medic Trina McCandless. Video credit: PIO Kale Casey

Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack hand crew arrived on Monday from the Swan Lake Fire to help grid and mop up hot spots, cut fire weakened trees, clean up flagging and signage that is no longer needed, and assist with chipping and mitigation work to meet the specifications of the comprehensive repair plan. Engines from Fairbanks and the Mat-Su area are also on scene patrolling and assisting with the ongoing repair.

Recent amounts of rainfall have been increasing and are certainly helping. However, there has not been quite enough accumulated rainfall to penetrate fully into the deeper duff layer, which means that areas that have been burning deeply remain mostly protected from the rain. All residents are encouraged to remain extremely vigilant for ash pits when walking in the fire area. 

McKinley Fire Map - There have been no changes to the perimeter for either the McKinley or Deshka Landing Fires.
McKinley Fire Map – There have been no changes to the perimeter for either the McKinley or Deshka Landing Fires.

Many of the fire personnel remaining on the incident responded to the 2015 Sockeye Fire. Because these crews live and work in the area, they have recent experience that will help guide their work. One of the main “watch out” situations is for alignments of downed fuels or stacked berms that could create what firefighters call “holdovers”. In a burn area this large and with the burn so deep, to a certain degree a few “holdovers” of hidden heat in berms or ash pits are inevitable. The more work that is completed now, the fewer issues firefighters will have to address next spring.

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.

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 ashpits, along with snags pose significant dangers to anyone inside the burn area.  

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

The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the McKinley Fire has been lifted.

Fire Information: 907-313-9826 Email:    
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Categories: AK Fire Info


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