Record-setting heat in Alaska brings a fire back to life

Mississippi Fire
File photo of Mississippi Fire, unknown date. InciWeb photo.

If someone told you about a fire named “Mississippi” that was near Delta, would you guess it was in Mississippi? If so, you’d be wrong.

The Mississippi Fire started May 30 ten miles west of Delta, Alaska. The last time it was updated on InciWeb was August 25 when the Type 1 Incident Management Team turned it back over to the BLM – Alaska Fire Service. At that time it had burned 67,288 acres.

Normally by October firefighters in Alaska don’t have to worry about wildfires — they can’t spread very far under snow. But this year firefighters have to worry, at least a little. Temperatures in Delta Junction on Monday did not just set a new record, they blew it to smithereens — 19 degrees higher than the previous record.

Under those conditions, and combined with winds that gusted to 63 mph, the Mississippi fire found new life, crossing dozer lines and burning another 300 acres. A 10-member Alaska Fire Service crew responded to the fire Monday.

Alaska Fire Service Manager Kent Slaughter said the fire is 2.5 miles from Whitestone Farms but there is little threat it will spread to the community.

Last year in late November dry conditions and strong winds contributed to the rapid spread of a fire near Palmer, Alaska that burned 200 acres and required homes to be evacuated.

Dozers Delta River Mississippi Fire
Dozers crossing the Delta River at the Mississippi Fire, unknown date. InciWeb photo.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Record-setting heat in Alaska brings a fire back to life”

  1. Thank you for this update and for the photos. I live at Whitestone Farms and it is hard to tell exactly what is going on behind the lines of trees that obscure the ravaging work of the summer’s fire. Thank you again, Diana


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