Skip to comments.Army official: Artillery drill started Stuart Creek wildfire
Posted on 07/07/2013 12:40:24 AM PDT by Jet Jaguar
TWO RIVERS, Alaska An Army artillery exercise ignited the Stuart Creek 2 fire now threatening the community of Two Rivers, according to the Fort Wainwright garrison commander.
Col. Ron Johnson spoke to area residents this evening at a community meeting at the Pleasant Valley Community Center.
In general, the Army makes sure it has the resources to put out a fire that could start from training before allowing the training, he said.
In this case it took some mitigation measures, they allowed the training to occur, it was artillery training, it did start a fire, Johnson said.
The fire, which started June 25, was initially contained until it flared up last week, Johnson said. The training took place during a red flag warning in which residents are asked to avoid conducting activities that could start fires, he said. It was monitored, it smoked up, they hit it again and then when the fire conditions changed it flared up and now weve got what weve got, Johnson said.
Saturdays meeting was organized by the firefighting crew now managing the 32,014-acre fire to give information to the Chena Hot Springs Road community thats been under an advisory evacuation watch since Tuesday.
Johnson was not a scheduled speaker at the meeting but took the microphone to applause and laughter when a local resident asked If the military started this fire, then why arent they here?
ains on evacuation watch. Warm weather is forecast for Sunday, as is wind that would blow the fire toward the community.
FAIRBANKSThe Stuart Creek fire south of Two Rivers has grown to 50,000 acres, with most of the growth occurring to the south and east away from populated areas.
An evacuation watch remains in effect, however, for the area of mile 14 to mile 32 of Chena Hot Springs Road.
Cooler temperatures, higher humidity and lighter winds were expected to aid firefighters Wednesday, according to the daily update from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.
Smokejumpers, retardant tankers and military helicopters continue to attack the fire, the update reads. In addition, crews have begun positioning pumps and hoses to protect structures ahead of the fire.
The fire began on military land and has spread to state land, prompting the closure of several access points in the Chena River State Recreation Area.
Also Wednesday, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Division of Animal Control has set up an emergency animal shelter at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds. The shelter will accept animals from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the evacuation watch. People can bring livestock, dogs and cats.
The emergency shelter can be reached through the back gate, by the livestock barns. People should be prepared to help care for their animals while at the shelter, according to a notice a borough notice.
People who are available to help move animals or volunteer at the emergency shelter are asked to email their contact information and the service they can provide to provide to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An evacuation watch is not an evacuation order. An evacuation watch is an advisory given to warn people of the possibility of an evacuation order.
Elsewhere, crews continue making progress on the Skinnys Road fire, aided by cooler temperatures and some rainfall. Crews continue enlarging the fire line and extinguishing hot spots within the fires perimeter, according to a news release Wednesday from the Incident Management Team from the Oregon Department of Forestry that has been brought up to handle the fire.
Motorists in the area will still encounter roadblocks and pilot cars on the Parks Highway near mile 328.
The fire is 55 percent contained. The fires size is now listed at 1,806 acres, a change due to improved mapping.
More than 470 firefighters are working on the fire, supported by several fire engines and bulldozers, helicopters, and water tenders, according to the news release.
Fairbanks, Eielson, Fort Wainwright ping.
Thank you Cindy.
You’re very welcome Jet Jaguar.
Now less than 8 miles from my house.
And the winds are blowing smoke back here again.
Oh no...changed direction again?
Stay safe up there! Get your bug out bags ready to go!
Is it just me? Or is this a difficult read. I haven’t slept in 24 hours. Probably me.
Burns, as much a part of Alaska as the caribou & moose. Smoke in Eagle too; mosquitoes are worse this year. And the wife keeps asking me why I keep homeowners, probably the only one in town with insurance. Have the Hot Shots set up sprayers all over your house yet? Thats when ya know it might burn through. The Indians always tell me the Village Fire Crews got to work too.
No sprayers around the housing here yet.
I think you need a nap CG.
The Air Force would never do something like this.
Slept 4 hours and I feel much better.
I told you I was sorry .....