Lichen Fire 100% contained at 2.5 acres just before midnight; overnight patrol quiet and Pioneer Peak Hotshots arrived to finish mop up

The 2.5 acre Lichen Fire was declared 100% contained at 11:10pm on July 4th by DNR Type 4 Incident Commander Brian Carver. A coordinated local response with direct fireline construction, air support by both Mat-Su helitack and retardant tankers, and abundant supplies of water delivered by tenders pulling out of Sheep Creek for mop up by the firefighters were the keys to containing this fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and numerous homes and values at risk in the area were successfully protected. The Mat-Su squad and a Forestry engine patrolled overnight and the Pioneer Peak Hotshots are mopping up and gridding the small fire area to ensure that there is no lingering heat in the dry duff layers.

  • Photo of smoke rising up from the Lichen Fire burning in a forest next to a gravel road.
  • Photo of the Lichen Fire burning near Willow.
  • Map of Lichen Fire (#323) burning near Lichen Drive in Willow north of milepost 91 of the Parks Highway.

This photo gallery features pictures captured by local volunteer firefighters and Mat-Su Forestry personnel who responded within minutes. You can see how small the initial smoke column is as a common practice is to document the amount of smoke rising from a wildfire to help document and determine size and intensity while preparing for suppression. A six person squad from the Mat-Su Emergency Firefighter Crew coordinated with dozens of local volunteers and professionals from Talkeetna, Caswell, Willow, Houston and Central fire departments.

Tanker 540 delivers precision retardant drop to assist local engine crews with limiting the size and spread of the July 4th Lichen Fire. Video credit: Caswell Volunteer Firefighter Tristan Reid
Lichen Fire – view of fireline and mop up just before being declared 100% contained by DNR IC Brian Carver before midnight on July 4th 2021. Credit: DNR PIO Kale Casey

The small approximately 2.5 acre Lichen Fire (#323) is located near Lichen Drive in the Upper Susitna area north of Willow around milepost 91 of the Parks Highway. Local fire departments including Talkeetna, Caswell, Willow, Houston and Central have been working with Mat-Su area firefighters, engines and helitack built fireline and a hose lay around the entire fire perimeter. #FireYear2021

Mat-Su initial attack helicopter drops water near values at risk during the suppression of the Lichen Fire July 4th, 2021. Video credit: Caswell Volunteer Firefighter Tristan Reid

Categories: AK Fire Info, Alaska DNR - Division of Forestry (DOF)

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