A crew of 20 firefighters are mopping up a small wildfire east of Harding Lake that was reported early Monday night.
The 4-acre Redmond Creek Fire was reported just before 6 p.m. approximately 11 miles east of Harding Lake and the Richardson Highway. The fire is located along Redmond Creek.
A helicopter from Fairbanks Area Forestry was launched to size up the fire and founds a 4-acre fire burning in dwarf black spruce. The fire had a 10 percent active perimeter with rank 1-2 fire behavior (on a scale of 1-6). The fire was approximately 2 miles west of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
The helicopter dropped off four Helitack firefighters and commenced to make water drops on the fire to halt its spread. Four water-scooping aircraft from the BLM Alaska Fire Service on Fort Wainwright were also called in to make water drops. The water bombers were scooping water from nearby Harding Lake, making for quick turnaround times. The four scoopers made a total 48 water drops on the fire totaling 33,600 gallons of water in a matter of two hours.
The water drops proved effective in halting the spread of the fire and part of the Alaska Division of Forestry’s 20-man White Mountain Type 2 Initial Attack Crew was flown in to assist Helitack firefighters on the ground. Only part of the crew could be flown in Monday night and the remainder of the crew was shuttled in by helicopter on Tuesday morning.
Crew members and Helitack firefighters worked until about 11:30 p.m. cutting a saw line around the fire and establishing hose lays to provide a water source for extinguishment. All supplies were flown in by helicopter.
Today, the crew will continue cutting saw line and securing the perimeter with hose lays to extinguish hotspots that are found.