Sixth lightning-caused wildfire discovered in Little Chena Valley east of Fairbanks

A new lightning-caused wildfire was discovered in the Little Chena Valley east of Fairbanks on Wednesday as firefighters were being demobilized after suppressing multiple other fires ignited by lightning in the same area.

A smoldering 1-acre fire, the Little Chena 6 Fire (#282) was reported by a helicopter transporting firefighters off the Little Chena Fire (#238) Wednesday afternoon. The fire is in close proximity to the 2-acre Little Chena Fire, which was one of five fires that were started by lightning on Saturday within a 5-mile radius. The fires are 3-5 miles north of Chena Hot Springs Road near milepost 23.

The 1-acre Little Chena 6 Fire (#282) was the sixth lightning-caused fire discovered in the Little Chena Valley north of Chena Hot Springs Road near milepost 23. Photo by Robin Ace/Alaska Division of Forestry.

The 10-person Mat-Su module had finished work on the Little Chena Fire and two other fires in the area and had already been flown out when the new fire was discovered. The module was flown back in to suppress the new fire, which appears to be the result of a new lightning strike.

Firefighters hiked into the fire from a nearby helicopter landing zone that has been used on the other fires and performed a gird in the unburned area around the fire, finding at least five hot spots that they extinguished with water backpacks. because there is no water source nearby. Firefighters also cut a saw line around the fire.

Firefighters planned to continue mopping up the fire today with tentative demobilization set for Friday.

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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