Moose Meadows Fire 100 percent contained; crews continuing mopping up

The 56-acrew Moose Meadows Fire north of Wasilla was declared 100 percent contained as of 8:10 p.m. Sunday and crews are continuing mop-up operations today.

More than 50 firefighters, including both the Pioneer Peak Hotshot Crew and Gannett Glacier Fire Crew, are working to seek out and extinguish any hot spots found inside the perimeter of the fire. Water tenders from the West Lakes Fire Department are pumping water into portable water tanks to provide a water supply for firefighters.

The fire showed no growth on Sunday, as crews were able to get hose and saw line around the entire perimeter of the fire.

Members of the Pioneer Peak Hotshot Crew work to remove a tree from a burned area of the Moose Meadows Fire on Sunday, May 17, 2020. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry.

The fire is located about 6 miles north of Wasilla near Moose Meadows Road, a short dirt road that turns into a high-use recreation trail leading to Mount Baldy in the foothills of the Talkeetna Mountains

The fire is believed to be human caused and an investigation is being conducted to pinpoint the specific cause and who may have been responsible.

The public is asked to avoid the area so as not to interfere with firefighter ingress and egress.

The fire was not road accessible and firefighters hiked a short distance into the fire or used ATVs to access the fireline.

Part of the burn scar of the Moose Meadows Fire as seen on Sunday, May 17, 2020. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry.

The fire was reported at 2:23 p.m. Saturday. The Mat-Su Area Forestry station mounted an aggressive initial attack. Two helicopters with water buckets and two air tankers responded to the fire to drop water and retardant on and around the fire. The two air tankers dropped a total of 11 loads of retardant to box the fire in all four sides, allowing firefighters on the ground to secure the perimeter.

With no significant precipitation since the snow pack melted off a month ago and greenup still in process, conditions in the Mat-Su Valley are extremely dry and the wildfire danger is very high. A burn permit suspension has been in effect since May 1 prohibiting the use of burn barrels and debris burning for the Mat-Su area and the rest of the state with the exception of Southeast Alaska.

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, the Division of Forestry asks the public to adhere to the burn permit suspension and be extremely cautions with any kind of activity that could spark a wildfire in these volatile conditions. 

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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