20-person firefighting crew added to battle Little Albert Creek Fire near Central

Fire Size: 350 acres  Total Personnel: 43

Crews: Helicopters: 1

Start Date: 06/16/2021  Cause: Lightning 

After a good day of work by firefighters and water-dropping aircraft, another crew will be added to help extinguish Little Albert Creek Fire burning about 5 miles west of Central.

The eight smokejumpers on the fire are headed back to Fairbanks to rejoin the smokejumper pool available to quickly respond to new fires. Meanwhile, the 20-person Snake River Valley #12 Type 2 Initial Attack Crew from Oregon is enroute and will join the BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Hotshots working to extinguish the fire.

The combination of moderated weather, marshy terrain and work from smokejumpers and water-dropping aircraft Thursday helped subdue the Little Albert Creek Fire (#206) Thursday. The fire was estimated at 350 acres and burning mostly in tussock tundra and brush. The east side of the fire stalled when it burned into a riparian area north of Crooked Creek. However, the west side of the fire is still active as it burns about 2 miles north of the Steese Highway. The BLM Alaska Fire Service Chena Hotshot Crew joined the suppression efforts late Thursday afternoon. The eight smokejumpers parachuted into the area early Thursday afternoon while the Chena Hotshots drove the roughly 120 miles from BLM AFS. A helicopter scooping large buckets of water and two water-scoopers helped douse the flames.

The lightning-caused fire originally started Wednesday in an area that was considered a limited management option – which typically means the fire will be put in monitor status. However, it soon burned into a full-protection area that is considered a high priority for suppression efforts due to the proximity to moderately populated area, cultural or developed sites. The fire is burning north of a mining operation on the opposite side of Crooked Creek.

Increasing clouds with scattered showers and thunderstorms is forecasted over the area this afternoon and early evening. There is a possibility for erratic and gusty winds associated with thunder cells. Temperatures are predicted to range in the 70s for the next few days.

For more information, contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or eipsen@blm.gov.

Categories: Active Wildland Fire, AK Fire Info, BLM Alaska Fire Service


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