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.
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.
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