Firefighters made major progress Friday in containing a small wildfire burning near George Lake approximately 40 miles southeast of Delta Junction.
The George Lake Fire was reported to be 50% contained as of late Friday night and the estimated fire size has been reduced from 20 to 6 acres due to more accurate mapping.
The lightning-caused fire, which was reported late Thursday afternoon, is less than 1 mile from George Lake. The fire is burning in black spruce near the northeast corner of George Lake on what is known locally as “Grandpa Cummings Knoll.” George Lake has several recreational cabins located around it but no structures are considered threatened.
Water-scooping planes made multiple water drops on the fire Friday to keep it from flaring up. Part of the Baker River Hotshot Crew were inserted into the fire late Friday night by airboat. The remaining crew members will be flown in by helicopter today to replace eight smokejumpers that were deployed on the fire during initial attack Thursday night. The smokejumpers will be pulled off the fire today so they can be available for any new fire starts.
The Baker River Hotshots will be working to secure the fire perimeter and set up a hose line to the fire to provide a water source for extinguishing hot spots. The nearest water source to the fire is George Lake almost a mile away.
Given the work accomplished by the smokejumpers and Helitack firefighters from Tok and Delta during initial attack, minimal fire spread is anticipated. Fire managers estimate it will take about four days to fully contain and mop up the fire.