Anchorage

Wildfire on Anchorage Hillside fully controlled after overnight response from fire crews

Wildfire

Update, 8:45 a.m. Monday:

The wildland fire on the Anchorage Hillside that started Sunday night from a structure fire was considered fully controlled by early Monday morning, Division of Forestry officials said.

The blaze was fully contained by about 1 a.m., according to state fire information officer Kale Casey. Wildland firefighters continued to work until 3:45 a.m.

Working in sometimes heavy brush, members of the Gannett Glacier state wildland crew cut down hazard trees and made fuel breaks around the fire, according to an update Monday that credited the Anchorage Fire Department with getting hose around the fire’s perimeter early on.

Original story:

Firefighters responded to the Anchorage Hillside on Sunday night after a residential blaze near Rabbit Creek Road and Golden View Drive appeared to have led to a wildland fire, according to a fire official.

Kale Casey, a state fire information officer with the Division of Forestry, estimated its size to be 0.79 acres.

Firefighters were still working the scene late Sunday, he said, but it “looks like we’re at the right time of day to be able to stop the fire’s spread.”

By about 11:37 p.m., the fire -- which crews initially responded to more than two hours earlier -- was 90% contained, according to Casey.

Casey said winds had been fairly strong on the Upper Hillside earlier, and noted that the fire’s proximity to other homes had been a concern. But by midnight, he said “the fire is not a threat,” given that it was mostly contained, weather conditions had improved and a crew was surrounding the fire area.

Anchorage police blocked off the area, and an officer at the scene earlier Sunday night said residents had evacuated from some homes in the vicinity of the fire. A helicopter made multiple passes to drop water on the blaze.

“The helicopter there is a big deal because the helicopter does a lot of damage to fire,” Casey said. “It drops water very precisely. And it does do a lot of damage because it has a quick turnaround.”

A burn ban is in place in Anchorage, and much of Southcentral Alaska was under a red flag warning over the weekend reflecting hot, dry, windy conditions that could fuel fire activity.

Conditions were expected to improve Monday “as far as the threat for potential fire weather,” said Brandon Lawson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

“Everything’s just going to be slightly better tomorrow,” Lawson said. “We’re not going to have as high temperatures that we had today, and the relative humidity won’t be quite as low.”

Smoke
Helicopter
FIre

“Additional resources are on scene from a variety of agencies,” the Alaska Division of Forestry said in a Facebook post.

Police in an alert asked people to stay away from the area while fire crews worked and refrain from flying drones as the helicopter dropped water.

#ZirconFire (#131) Update 3:45am: Gannett Glacier continues gridding and mopping up. Incident Commander Quimby states...

Posted by Alaska DNR- Division of Forestry (DOF) on Sunday, May 22, 2022

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