Nenana blaze nipped in the bud

Alaska Division of Forestry Firefighters Carlton Story, on left, and Eugene Lee, prepare to cut up white spruce trees that have fallen onto the fire to prevent flames from hiding under the trees. (Alaska Division of Forestry photo)

Nenana residents teamed with state and federal firefighters to snuff a wildfire near the community. The Alaska Fire Service reports that the Nenana River Fire was halted at less than an acre after being discovered Tuesday night, about a mile west of Nenana.

AFS said five local residents, including some with firefighting experience, saw smoke and went to the fire. They initially beat the flames with spruce boughs, then dumped water hauled from the river, to slow the fire.

An AFS helicopter flew in from Fairbanks and dropped eight buckets of water on the fire. A state crew also responded, setting up a pump to get additional water on the fire. The fire was contained, but AFS said it burned deep into underlying duff, and mop up operations continued yesterday. The wildfire is listed as human caused.