Offal Fire moving away from Port Heiden

A drone image of a bulldozer creating control lines around the Offal Fire, Aug. 25, 2019. (Photo courtesy of John Christensen)

A responder fighting the Offal Fire near Port Heiden was sent to a hospital in Anchorage Monday night due to smoke inhalation. That’s according to John Christensen, the tribal council president.

“So we’re holding off on fighting it now, because of the heat that’s coming off of the tall grass is really intense and we don’t want to cause anybody to get hurt,” Christensen explained.

That tall grass is burning at the northern end of the fire. The eastern side is still relatively active as well.

The Offal Beach fire is burning 1,444 acres about 12 miles away from the village. According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, it was started by people. Christensen said they were able to put out the southern and middle portions of the fire with heavy equipment. It is now moving away from the village.  

“We had a few breaks in the line where the fire jumped over, but we rushed the equipment back over to fix that and put that back out,” he said.

On Wednesday the volunteer crew was bringing in that equipment and breaking up camp. Christensen hopes that rain from last night and today will help tamp the flames and put out any embers. So far, the community has received $10,601 in monetary donations to fight the fire.