The small approximately 3-4 acre Lichen Fire (#323) is burning near Lichen Drive in the Upper Susitna area north of Willow around milepost 91 of the Parks Highway. The cause of the fire is under investigation. As of 8:30pm on July 4th, local fire departments including Talkeetna, Caswell, Willow, Houston and Central have been working with Mat-Su area firefighters, engines and helitack to limit the fire growth to the smallest possible size. There is fireline and a hose lay currently around the entire fire perimeter.
A load of retardant was dropped at approximately 7:55 pm and a second load of retardant was dropped at 8:35pm. The helicopter with long line and bucket worked throughout the early evening to knock down hot spots and spot fires at the head of the fire. A wildland squad of six Mat-Su area firefighters has been working with engine crew members to construct direct containment line along the fire’s edge. Many firefighters will remain on scene throughout the night as mop up and suppression work continues. There are several structures threatened. Local residents have been evacuated and according to Mat-Su Borough Emergency Management there are no other evacuations anticipated tonight. Fireworks are prohibited in the Mat-Su Borough and ground fuels remain very dry. With the current weather and 4th of July activities, please take a step closer to being prepared for wildfire starts in your area and have your evacuation plans in place.