A slightly slower start to the fire season in Alaska has allowed the state to loan some of its fire crews to the lower 48 for the time being. The Alaska Fire Service says five crews of Fire Fighters have gone to Wyoming, not Colorado, as earlier reports had stated.
Five crews is just over a hundred firefighters and their equipment, Public Affairs Specialist Mel Slater said. Fires are raging all over the west right now. Montana has 10 large wildfires burning, Utah’s largest wildfire has consumed more than 150 square miles, and there are reports of large fires currently burning in Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The Colorado Springs wildfire is reported 55% contained.
So far this year, firefighters in Alaska have had a slightly slower season than usual, Slater said, which enabled sending some to areas in the lower-48.
The Bear Creek fire, 13 miles southwest of Anderson, has burned more than 8,000 acres so far. Slater says officials determined what amount of personnel and equipment could be loaned out while still maintaining what is needed for response efforts in the state. Four more crews from Alaska are slated to depart for Wyoming Wednesday.
About 100 firefighters from Alaska are heading to Colorado to help fight wildfires there.
Alaska Incident Management Team spokeswoman Sarah Saarloos says Colorado authorities requested the five fire crews from Alaska.
Alaska was able to help out because of lighter-than-usual fire season so far this summer.
There’s two wildfires currently burning in Interior Alaska. Just over 110 firefighters continue to work the Allakaket fire, which has burned about 2,700 acres 180 miles northwest of Fairbanks. Four other fire crews were released from the fire over the weekend.
The other is the Bear Creek Fire, which has burned about 8,500 acres 13 miles southwest of Anderson.