Crews Battle 14,000-Acre Fire Near Kalskag

More than 100 firefighters are battling a wildfire south of Kalskag that started Sunday from lightening. It has grown to 14,200 acres. Four water-scooping aircrafts are attacking the flanks of the fire as crews work to build a perimeter. They’ve put in a water pump near an area of heavy timber.

Download Audio:

More than 100 firefighters are battling a blaze south of Kalskag. Image from Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.
More than 100 firefighters are battling a blaze south of Kalskag. Image from Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.

Tim Mowry is Public Information Officer for the Alaska Division of Forestry. He says there are no structures at risk now.

“We’re trying to keep the fire on the refuge so it doesn’t spread to native lands and native allotments,” said Mowry.

The fire is about three and half miles from the nearest point of the Kuskokwim River, and is burning in tundra grass and black spruce. Fire officials have enacted a temporary flight restriction to keep planes out of the area. While the fire grew quickly this week, Mowry says the weather improved.

“We got a little bit of precipitation, and even hail, on the western flank, and the winds have died down a little bit,” said Mowry.

He says the fire was not as active Thursday as it was earlier in the week.

Northeast of Tuluksak, a fire in the Bogus Creek area has grown to more than 8-thousand acres. No staff is on that fire, but aircraft are dropping water. Statewide, 31,000 acres have burned this year.