Firefighters and aircraft worked on a new wildfire less than a mile southwest of Tolovana Hot Springs Friday night. The initial smoke report was relayed at 4:39 p.m. to the Alaska Division of Forestry. The DOF Fairbanks Area Forestry sent three water-scooping airplanes and a helitack crew with four firefighters before realizing the Washington Creek Fire (#231) was located within the BLM Alaska Fire Service protection area. Eight smokejumpers launched soon after to replace the helitack crew that was released from the fire. An air tanker arrived soon after and dropped retardant to box the fire in.
The fire is estimated at 2-5 acres and smoldering and creeping up a slope to the northwest. It’s burning in a mixture of grass and hardwoods. Firefighters flying over the area reported the buildings at the nearby hot springs were not immediately threatened.
Smokejumpers will continue to work late into the night to stop the momentum of the fire and eventually put it out.
For more information, contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.