Firefighters working to contain new starts west of Talkeetna

Update June 7, 2022 @ 4:30 pm

The #KichatnaFire has grown to 112 acres. Two helicopters from the Mat-Su Alaska Division of Forestry based in Palmer have been dropping water to keep the fire in check and support ground personnel.

Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew, Mat-Su Helitack Module, Gannett Glacier Type 2 IA Crew, and White Mountain Type 2 IA Crew (from Fairbanks) have been assigned to the fire. Additional firefighters are supporting the logistical effort and are stationed at the Talkeetna Airport. Due to the remote location of the fire, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are being utilized to shuttle crews into the fire.

Additional small wildfires have been located in the Susitna Valley. The Kenai-Kodiak and Copper River DOF Helitack Modules have been ordered to help put out any other fires in the area and assist with the Kichatna Fire.

Due to the size of the wildfire, resources assigned and logistical challenges, Type 3 Incident Commander Matt Jones (former Pioneer Peak IHC Superintendent) has assumed management responsibilities of the fire along with Type 3 IC Trainee Kris Baumgartner (current Pioneer Peak IHC Superintendent).

NEW WILDFIRE STARTS

June 7, 2022 @ 10:30 am

Three new fires were reported Monday evening in the Susitna Valley west of Talkeetna and north of Skwentna after thunderstorms moved through the area.

Two helicopters responded to the Kichatna Fire (213) and dropped water to slow its spread. Two air tankers were also ordered, one from Palmer and one from Fairbanks, for retardant drops to protect values at risk in the area. Nine structures were identified near the fire. The Kichatna Fire is in a Full Suppression Management area. Firefighters reported primarily surface fuels burning with isolated torching in the spruce. Light precipitation was observed in the fire area yesterday.

Seven crew members from Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew were flown in Monday evening and worked the fire until 2:00 am. The remainder of the crew will be shuttled in this morning to help contain the fire. An airstrip is located about 25 minutes by foot to the fire. Gannett Glacier Type 2IA Crew is scheduled to be flown in later Tuesday. Air support has been requested for helicopters with bucket capabilities and an air tanker with retardant.

Compilation of footage from the Kichatna Fire, courtesy of Mat-Su Helitack

Mat-Su Helitack Module contained an unnamed fire (214) to 0.5 acres and it has been placed in monitor status. Two personnel will check that fire today. Firefighters will also address another unnamed fire (211) nearby that was reported to be 5 acres.

Updates will be found at the top of this post as soon as there is new information on these fires.

Video of helicopter reconnaissance of the Kichatna (#213) Fire from the evening of June 6th.


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

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