The quick work by aircraft and smokejumpers was successful in corralling a small lightning-caused fire south of Tolovana Hot Spring late Friday night. An Alaska Division of Forestry air tanker laid down fire retardant to box in the 2-acre Washington Creek Fire (#231). Meanwhile, three BLM Alaska Fire Service two water-scooping airplanes and a helicopter dropped water to take some of the energy out of the fire. After the aircraft left, eight smokejumpers worked until about 1 a.m. trying to get around the fire that is burning in heavy dead and downed trees from an old burn. The fire was smoldering in some of those downed trees on a hillside southwest of the hot springs Saturday morning.
Smokejumpers will continue to work on the fire today to secure the perimeter and make sure the edges are cold. Then they’ll work their way in from the edges, putting out hot spots until the fire is completely extinguished. They anticipate completing the work in the next few days, especially if the area receives some of the moisture that is predicted throughout much of Interior Alaska.
For more information, contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)356-5511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.