NEW: Moose Creek Fire | Alaska | Update 1

Updated 10:15 PM PDT

INCIDENT SUMMARY

An early-morning photo of the Moose Creek Fire near Sutton. Firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry and local fire departments are working to contain the blaze, which was reported at 2:10 a.m. Alaska Division of Forestry photo

Credit: AK Forestry

Date/Time Started: 

  • The Moose Creek Fire was reported @ 2:10 AM on October 15th by a passing motorist.

Location:

  • The Moose Creek Fire is burning near the Moose Creek Campground.
  • About 12 miles North of Palmer and 5 miles South of Sutton, Alaska.

Fire Fuels:

  • Fire fuels are burning in cured grass and hardwoods.

Cause: 

  • The cause is unknown and under investigation, but media is now reporting this is a human-caused fire with an escaped debris pile fire.

Current Fire Conditions:

  • Fire crews are facing the harsh sub-freezing cold weather and even more colder temps from extreme windy conditions.
  • On Saturday, Fire managers used burn out operations to reinforce the containment line on the north flank with most of the fire on that side being fully contained.
  • On Sunday, fire crews are focusing most of their fire suppression efforts on the western perimeter which appears to be the most active portion of the fire.

(Credit: AK Forestry)

Size Up:

  • At the time of fire being reported, it was at 10 acres.
  • Today, it is at 300 acres with a 25% containment status.

Fire perimeter map. (Credit: AK Forestry)

PERSONNEL

Staffing: 

  • This Fire comes late into the Wildfire Season and most firefighters with most of them already laid off.
  • Fire Managers forced to scramble to find  Staffing.
  • About 50  Firefighters  are assigned from BLM Alaska Fire Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service.

Air Resources: 

  • 2 Helicopters are assisting ground fire crews and dropping water over the fire, but at times the winds were too fierce for flying.

SOCIAL MEDIA

NW Fire Blog:

  • We are using the following hashtags for this article:  #MooseCreekFire  #AkWILDFIRE

From the Fireground:

  • “Winds wreaking havoc for firefighters in Matanuska Valley.” – AK Forestry (10/16/2016)

Credit: Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Evacuations:

  • “Palmer Correctional Center inmates evacuated.” – Media (10/16/2016)

The People Have Spoken:

  • “Late-season fire burning near Sutton – Surface fuels burn.” (10/16/2016).
  • “Wildfire season keeps getting longer..” (10/15/2016)
  •  “It was pretty hazy out here today.” (10/15/2016)
  •  “Helicopters pulling water out of Elks Lake.” (10/15/2016)

News Media:

  • “The weather combo of cold & wind at the #MooseCreekFire is BRUTAL.” (10/16/2016)
  • “Alaska Div. Forestry says #MooseCreekFire is human caused–started as an escaped debris fire.” (10/16/2016)
  • “Forestry says the wind is too strong for helicopters to assist.” (10/16/2016)”

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog