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Wildfire in Mat-Su expected to be fully contained Friday

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: May 16, 2020
  • Published May 1, 2020

Pioneer Peak Hotshot Crew saw boss Tom Enzi cuts down a fire-weakened hazard tree on the Trumpeter Fire on Friday, May 1, 2020. (Photo by Pioneer Peak Hotshot Crew/Alaska Division of Forestry)

Firefighters expect to have a 130-acre wildfire burning between Wasilla and Point MacKenzie fully contained by the end of shift Friday, according the Alaska Division of Forestry.

The Trumpeter Fire — which was initially spotted by a pilot Wednesday afternoon and spread over 120 acres in less than a day — is human-caused and under investigation, the Division of Forestry said. On Friday morning, it was reportedly 75% contained, the forestry division said in an online update.

Tim Mowry, a spokesman for the forestry division, on Thursday described it as the first significant response of the season in Southcentral Alaska.

Fifty firefighters “have begun mop-up operations to seek out and extinguish any remaining hot spots in the interior of the fire ... near South Trumpeter Drive in Point MacKenzie, about 20 miles southwest of Wasilla,” the Division of Forestry said Friday. Earlier in the fire response, helicopters had dropped water on the flames as crews reached the fire on foot and by ATV.

Trees weakened by fire that are at risk of falling pose the greatest danger for firefighters mopping up at this point, the forestry division said. Sawyers are removing trees that present a hazard.

Burn permits statewide were suspended starting Friday due to wildfire risk. Officials are concerned there may be fewer resources available to fight fires due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Division of Forestry firefighters conduct a small burnout operation along a four-wheeler trail while fighting the Trumpeter Fire on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (Bryan Quimby/Alaska Division of Forestry)

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