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

COLD WEATHER PROMPTS SHELTER OPENING – Auburn, Washington

In response to upcoming cold weather the severe weather shelter will be opening in Auburn for the following days and times:

  • Monday, February 3: 9 PM – 7AM
  • Tuesday, February 4: 9 PM – 7 AM
  • Wednesday, February 5: 9:30 PM – 7 AM
  • Thursday, February 6: 9 PM – 7 AM
  • Friday, February 7: 9 PM – 7 AM
  • Saturday, February 8: 9 PM – 7 AM

The shelter will be at the William C Warren Building at Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E ST NE.

This is an emergency shelter and no services are provided.

If you have questions please call Debbie Christian at 253-334-4860 or Auburn Emergency Management at 253-876-1925.

2014 The NW Fire Blog

Search and Rescue Mission: Lovelock, NV SAR Search for Couple and Four Children

The Pershing County, Nev., sheriff’s office was among the agencies looking for a couple and four children missing in Arctic weather.  [Photo Credit: KTV News]

LOVELOCK, Nev. – A search resumed Monday in the remote mountains of northwest Nevada for a couple and four children who went to play in the snow and haven’t returned after a night of sub-zero temperatures.

Pershing County deputies said aircraft and crews on the ground were searching for 34-year-old James Glanton, his 25-year-old girlfriend, Christina McIntee, and the four children: a 10-year-old, two 4-year-olds and a 3-year-old. The relationship between the couple and children was unclear.

Officials said the group went to the Seven Troughs area Sunday in a silver Jeep with a black top but hadn’t returned home. It was unclear what supplies they might have been carrying or whether they were able to communicate with rescuers.

“I’m hoping they all huddled together and stayed in the Jeep,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen said Monday. “That would be a best-case scenario.”

The situation was considered especially urgent because of unseasonably cold temperatures. In the nearby small town of Lovelock, temperatures dipped to 16 below zero early Monday, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf said.

“The temperatures out here are very cold. We would like to bring a successful end to this. We would like to find them as soon as we can,” Pershing County Sheriff Richard Machado.

Dispatcher Jerry Reid said the search began Sunday evening and continued through most of the night. A Navy search and rescue team was assisting Pershing County authorities, and the Civil Air Patrol was expected to join the effort, Reid said.

Several inches of snow was on the ground in the area, but the black top on the silver 2005 Jeep should help make it easier to spot from the air, authorities said.

The Seven Troughs is named after a series of seven parallel canyons below Seven Trough Peak – elevation 7,474 feet – in the Kamma Mountains stretching north across the Pershing-Humboldt county line.

Allen said it’s an isolated area with spotty cell phone coverage.

It’s about 20 miles northwest of where Lovelock sits on Interstate 80, about 80 miles northeast of Reno and about 20 miles southeast of the Black Rock Desert, where the annual Burning Man counterculture festival is held.

“It’s remote, and it’s rocky,” Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Chris Healy said. “There are good dirt roads into the place, but they are dirt roads, and it is cold and snow so it’s not ideal.”

The Pershing County sheriff’s office said in a news release that Glanton, McIntee and the children had gone to the area to play in the snow. It did not elaborate.

Healy said Seven Troughs is a popular area for hunting chukars, a pheasant-sized winter game bird.

“So it’s not the kind of area where there would be nobody around,” he said Monday. “But most chukar hunters are smart enough not to go out in the weather we have now.”

CBS/AP
2013 The NW Fire Blog