96,000 acre fire growing near Lime Village

by Sophie Evan on June 21, 2013

photo courtesy of DNR

photo courtesy of DNR

Firefighters are trying to put out a wildfire just three miles away from Lime Village, in the upper Kuskokwim area. It’s one of several fires in the region stemming from recent thunderstorms and lightning.

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The Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, Division of Forestry says the fire near Lime Village is very large in size, at 96,000 acres, and firefighters are trying to keep it away from the village right now.

Public Information Officer, Francis Mitchell, says two crews of 20 firefighters each, the Midnight Sun Hot Shot Crew, and the Yanik Glacier Type 2 Intitial Attack Crew, and eight smoke jumpers have been working to protect the community.

“A breakout caused by a local storm squall that blew some fire back but an air tanker retardant drop and some smoke jumpers were able to catch that outbreak,” says Mitchel.

Curly Warren runs the Stony River Lodge, which is 30-miles west of where the fire is burning.

“I flew by it yesterday, its cooking over the lime hills over by Stoney, and DNR looks like it built a back burner so that it wouldn’t get too close to the village up there,” says Warren.

Forestry spokesman Francis Mitchell says the large fire is very quickly spreading North, burning in a limited protection area.

“Which means that there ‘s nothing that’s done, except monitor the fire and if it threatens any structures, and to put protection around those structures,” says Mitchell.

Other active fires in the region include three burning near Crooked Creek that DNR is also keeping a close eye on. Mitchell says there are smoke jumpers there now preparing helispots, or places where they can land, so that more firefighters can be brought in.

“The Yukon type 2 initial attack crew is being staged out of Crooked Creed to the fires, and there are already helitac firefighters on 287 which is the fire closest to the river,” says Mitchell.

A firefighting crew from Scammon Bay has been called to help with the Crooked Creek fires.

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