The Division of Forestry’s Tok Area station is monitoring a new wildfire in the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge about 56 miles southeast of Tok.
The Black Hills Fire was reported on Wednesday and is burning about 2 miles west of Jatahmund Lake and 3 miles east of the Nabesna River. The fire, burning in a Limited protection area, was estimated at about 60 acres in size Wednesday afternoon following a helicopter reconnaissance flight. It is burning in black spruce and will continue to grow as the fire is being allowed to burn to function in its natural ecological role. There are several lakes and ponds in the area that will serve as natural barriers to help slow the progress of the fire.
Smoke from the fire is visible from the Alaska Highway, Tok CutOff and Tetlin Road. The Tok Area Forestry station has fielded multiple calls from the public to report the fire and ask questions.
Two crews have been ordered to be flown into the fire later today to protect a Native allotment with a cabin on it about 2 miles northeast of the fire. The crews will work on improving an old saw line that has been cut around the allotment and set up pumps, hose and sprinklers around the cabin that can be turned on in the event the fire threatens the structure.