Three crews assigned to the Kichatna Fire (213)

Update June 10, 10:00 pm

The Kichatna Fire (#213) is 90% contained. There are no expected threats to the containment and control of this fire. Fire behavior is not anticipated to increase in the coming days and pose any control difficulties. Aircraft are being utilized to shuttle crews off the fire.

Update June 8, 6:30 pm

Thanks to the work of 3 Alaskan fire crews, the Kichatna Fire (#213) is now at 30% containment. Due to more accurate mapping, the size of the Kichatna Fire has been reduced to 85 acres.

White Mountain Type 2 IA Crew was shuttled into the fire today. Now, three crews including Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew and Gannett Glacier Type Two Crew have been cutting line and establishing hose lays, which are hoses and pumps used to secure the fire’s edge with water.

Two air tankers delivered retardant to Fire #213 today, and two helicopters worked with buckets to help the crews keep the fire in check. Fire activity observed through today’s operational period included creeping, smoldering, and isolated torching.

The Kichatna Fire has not affected Nakochna River Resort and its surrounding values, yet the resort remains threatened while the fire is uncontained. A warming and drying trend through the area is expected to increase fire activity over coming days, and throughout Alaska, firefighting resources are anticipated to be in high demand as fire season ramps up.

Fire #236 is a new fire start that was discovered by a search and rescue party about 10 miles northeast of Talkeetna. Fire #236 is estimated at 2 acres. The two helicopters assisting on the Kichatna Fire were redirected to Fire #236, carrying two individual helitack crews. Bucket drops from the two helicopters and engagement on the ground from the helitack crews has been effective in slowing fire activity.

June 8th 8:30 am

White Mountain Type 2 IA Crew will be joining Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew and Gannett Glacier Type 2 Crew on the Kichatna Fire (213) that is estimated to be 115 acres with 5% containment this morning. The fire is located approximately 50 miles west of Talkeetna near the Kichatna River, a tributary of the Yentna River.

Helicopters with buckets dropped water to support firefighters on the ground Tuesday as they worked cutting saw line and installing a hose lay to secure the fire’s edge. 

A combination of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters utilized a nearby airstrip to shuttle Pioneer Peak and Gannett Glacier along with their gear and supplies to the fire. Division of Forestry Helitack Modules from Copper River and Kenai-Kodiak were mobilized to help with fire suppression efforts in the Mat-Su Valley.  

The fire is burning in black spruce and tundra with a brush understory, and in some areas, pockets of hardwoods. Moderate fire behavior was observed with single tree and group torching in the spruce with creeping fire in the tundra.

June 7th Reconnaissance flight over the Kichatna Fire. Video credit: Chris Andersen, AK DOF Wildland Fire and Resource Technician

Some of the safety concerns include bug-killed and fire-weakened trees as well as seasonally high river levels. Warm and dry temperatures are forecasted today with a high of 76 degrees, a low relative humidity of 26 percent and north winds. The Incident Commander has ordered an air tanker with retardant Wednesday morning. 

White Mountain will be shuttled into the fire Wednesday morning to help boost firefighter numbers and contain this 115-acre wildfire. Crews will continue to build saw line around the fire perimeter and utilize pumps and hoses to secure the edge and mop up.  

The Chelatna One Fire (211) and Treasure Creek Fire (214) fires located nearby are also being suppressed by the crews. Chelatna One, about 5 acres is about 13 miles west of Treasure Creek that is approximately a half-acre. Over the last two days, helicopters dropped buckets on area of heat to keep both fires in check. Helitack Crew Members will ensure these fires are contained and controlled.

Categories: AK Fire Info

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