Firefighters are still working on two wildfires burning in Northeastern Alaska.
The Bolgen Creek Fire (#259) is burning in brush, grass and some spruce and tundra approximately 8 miles southwest of Circle. The fire remains at 17 acres, with no fire growth reported overnight. The cause of the fire, which was discovered on June 9, is under investigation. Firefighters are continuing to grid and search for hot spots today.
An unmanned aerial system with infrared capability is on order to fly the fire on Friday to help identify any remaining areas of heat. If no significant heat is discovered, firefighters expect to begin pulling hose and water handling equipment and release the remaining 45 personnel as soon as this weekend or early next week.
Smoke was observed yesterday over the Bedrock Fire (#269) burning near Milepost 119 on the Steese Highway, approximately 9 miles southwest of Central. This acre fire is burning in similar fuels as the Bolgen Fire. Two firefighters from the Bolgen Creek Fire went to the Bedrock Fire yesterday after the smoke report and extinguished the source of the smoke. Today they will return to recheck it. The Bedrock Fire started on June 11 in a limited protection area, which allows the fire to function in its natural ecological role as long as it’s not threatening any nearby sites of value.
This morning a new fire called the Boatman Fire (#288) was reported by a commercial aircraft approximately 23 miles east of Coldfoot, to the east of the Dalton Highway. This tundra fire is also burning in a limited area with no structures or Native allotments nearby. A detection flight is scheduled this afternoon to monitor this fire and discover any new starts that might have resulted from yesterday’s lightning in the area.
For more information, contact Public Information Officer Andy Gray at 907-356-5510 or by email.