First of seven BLM AFS Type 2 contract crews available for wildfire response

A line of firefighters walking down a gravel road cutting through a firest.
The Mooseheart Fire Crew, one of seven BLM Alaska Fire Service Type 2 contract hand crews, walks back to Minto during a simulated training drill on May 11, 2022. After BLM AFS personnel inspected the crew for readiness that day, the crew was made available for a fire assignment in Alaska on May 16, 2022. Photo by Tasha Shields, BLM AFS

The Mooseheart Crew with assembly points in Minto and Tanana got the honor of being the first of seven BLM Alaska Fire Service Type 2 contract crews available for the 2022 Alaska Fire Season. The crew became available to respond to wildfires on May 16 after a crew inspection in Minto on May 11, 2022. BLM AFS personnel made the drive from Fairbanks to Minto for the inspection where the crew was undergoing training.

As part of the contracts, all seven crews must undergo these inspections and be available from June 1 to Aug. 31 to enable them to quickly respond to wildfires in Alaska.

The Mooseheart Crew’s contractor, California-based Rural Metro Fire, also has the Big River Contract Crew with assembly points in Mountain Village, Saint Mary’s, Pilot Station and Marshall in Western Alaska and will undergo a similar inspection this week.

A man bent over a box of files while talking to a woman kneeling down in front of the file box.
Contractor Representative Keith Keenen, on the left, from Rural Metro Fire goes over the Mooseheart Crew training records with BLM Alaska Fire Service firefighter Tasha Shields during an inspection in Minto on May 11, 2022. The Mooseheart Fire Crew, one of seven BLM Alaska Fire Service Type 2 contract hand crews, was made available for a fire assignment in Alaska on May 16, 2022. Photo by Branden Petersen, BLM AFS

BLM AFS first awarded three Type 2 crew contracts based in rural Alaska villages for the 2020 Alaska Fire Season for quicker response to wildfires within the BLM AFS protection area, which covers 191.5 million acres in the northern half of the state. These three crews averaged 61 days on fire assignments in either Alaska or the Lower 48 in 2020 and 66 days on a fire in 2021. Three more were awarded in 2021 with one contractor, Scorched Earth Services LLC (SES Fire), adding a second crew for the 2022 season.

Other crews are:

  • Paradise Crew, contracted by Fairbanks-based Tanana Chiefs Conference, with assembly points in Shageluk, Grayling, Anvik, and Holy Cross.
  • Nulato Hills Wildland, contracted by Nulato Hills Enterprises, LLC in Nulato, with assembly points in Kaltag, Nulato, Koyukuk, Galena, and Ruby.
  • The K-River 1 and K-River 2 fire crews contracted through SES Fire based in Huslia. These two crews have assembly points in Huslia, Hughes and Allakaket.
  • The CATG Crew, contracted through the Fort Yukon-based Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, with assembly points of Arctic Village, Venetie and Fort Yukon.

The contract crews adhere to national qualifications for Type 2 hand crews and can be ordered for wildfire response in Alaska and the Lower 48.

As the season progresses, the status of the contract crews is posted on the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center’s website at https://fire.ak.blm.gov/logdisp/crews.php

Read more about these crews.

Contact BLM AFS Public Information Specialist Beth Ipsen at eipsen@blm.gov or 907-356-5510 for more information.

Map of Alaska with villages marking the various locations of contract crews.
Map of Alaska with the location of the seven BLM Alaska Fire Service Type 2 contract hand crews based in rural Alaska for faster response in BLM AFS protection area that covers 191.5 million acres throughout northern Alaska. Map by Daniel Griggs, BLM AFS


Categories: BLM Alaska Fire Service

Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: