Two lightning starts west of Tok reported and a wind driven fire in Delta Junction leads to evacuations

Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire off Nistler Road on Wednesday evening. Driven by strong, gusty winds, the Nistler Fire (#648) was rapidly spreading into the surrounding wildlands. Initial responders alerted residents in the area to the threat and asked them to evacuate for their safety.

Alaska Division of Forestry and Fire Protection responded with engines from Delta, Tok and Fairbanks to assist Rural Deltana and local responders from the City of Delta Junction and Fort Greely Fire Department. A helicopter from Tok Area Forestry and two dozers from Delta Area Forestry also responded. Tanana Chiefs Type 2 Initial Attack Crew were dispatched.

This aerial photograph shows smoke rising from a fire in a forested residential area.
Smoke rises from the Nistler Fire (#648) outside of Delta Junction on Wednesday evening, Aug. 17. 2022. The wind driven fire spread from a burning mobile home and spotted across Nistler Road. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

The fire grew to 35 acres and spotted across Nistler Road before firefighters were able to get around it with dozers and hose lays early Thursday morning. Tanana Chiefs, forestry engines and a dozer remained overnight to monitor the fire.

Because of the high winds the helicopter was not able to conduct bucket operations but remained overhead guiding firefighters on the ground.

As the helicopter was responding from Tok it reported two lightning caused fires west and south of Makinze Trail and Borealis Avenue. Tok Volunteer Fire Department and Tok Area Forestry firefighters were able to get hose lays around both fires, controlling them Wednesday evening. Forestry will return Friday to ensure the McKenzie Trail Fire (#646) and Borealis Fire (#647) are fully extinguished. In the Delta and Tok areas strong winds, gusting to 50 mph through Alaska Range passes, will decrease today as a low pressure system moves east. Scattered thunderstorms are forecast for Thursday and Friday which can lead to additional wildfire starts. Minimal rain and persistent winds have dried surface fuels increasing fire danger in the area.

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

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