Firefighters are mopping up the Deadwood Fire (#315) after a quick response by BLM Alaska Fire Service Friday kept it limited to 33 acres. Eight of the 16 smokejumpers that initially responded to the fire shortly after it was reported Friday afternoon were released Sunday morning and were immediately dispatched to a fire near Chalkyitsik. The other eight are set to leave at the end of today. The 20-person BLM AFS Midnight Sun Hotshots will remain on the fire to ensure it is completely extinguished. The crew should have this accomplished in a few days.
Smokejumpers and aircraft were able to corral the fire burning south of Central late Friday night. Firefighters spent Saturday fortifying a sawed control line and checking for additional fires that spotted outside the main perimeter. An unmanned aerial system, or drone, was used to ensure there were no additional spot fires and to find hot spots inside the fire’s perimeter. The Temporary Flight Restriction issued for the airspace was lifted at midnight.
The fire was reported by a resident at 4 p.m. Friday and quickly drew a response due to its close proximity to Central. The fire was originally torching in black spruce on both sides of the Circle Hot Springs Road about 2 1/2 miles from the intersection with the Steese Highway in Central. No structures were lost in the fire, however, a nearby Native allotment was impacted.
The cause of the fire is undetermined.
The area Deadwood Fire burned in is being considered for BLM AFS community wildfire protection planning. BLM AFS personnel scheduled a meeting at 5 p.m. on July 13 at the Gold County Services Store to talk about the wildfire protection planning and information for property owners to make their property more resistant to wildfires.