More Hotshot crews depart the lower 48 for Alaska fires

Burnout Hess Fire
Burnout on the Hess Fire in Alaska. InciWeb photo.

Five more hotshot crews are leaving today from Redding to assist with fires in Alaska: Elk Mountain, Modoc, Mad River, Eldorado and American River.

Alaska is in Preparedness Level 5, the maximum on the scale. The state has had more wildfire activity than usual for the last month or so, but record high temperatures last week beefed it up even more. The number of acres burned in the state varies greatly annually. In most years the total acreage burned is between 300,000 and 500,000. In 2013 it was 1.3 million and in 2015, 5.1 million acres burned. So far this year the total is 937,000 acres. The average over the last 10 years is 1.3 million.

Hotshot crews mobilizing Alaska
Hotshot crews mobilizing from Redding to Alaska. USFS photo.

The largest fire currently burning in the state is the 145,000-acre Hess Creek Fire 26 miles southeast of Steven’s Village. The blaze was very active Sunday, adding another 30,000 acres.

The second largest is the 96,000-acre Swan Lake Fire 50 air miles south of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. The activity on this fire has slowed in recent days.

Hotshot crews mobilizing Alaska
Hotshot crews mobilizing from Redding to Alaska. USFS 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. Google+

6 thoughts on “More Hotshot crews depart the lower 48 for Alaska fires”

  1. Just straight up, May the Lord bless you all with safety in this journey. Extreme gratitude for your selfless willingness to help us out in Alaska! Prayers!

  2. I pray that God protects all the firefighters, incident team, and people in Alaska from harm,
    and God gives them strength to help them.
    I pray that the rain puts out all the wildfires – Alaska forecast predicts rain starting Thursday this week.
    And please keep my daughter Ariel and the squadron at Eielson Air Force Base safe from smoke and fire.
    Please and thank You Lord.

  3. For those who are fighting the fires and helping the communities:

    Thank you so much for your selflessness, dedication and sacrifice. We really need you and can never properly repay you. Thankyouthankyou.

  4. God bless those who confront wildfires head on. Here’s to hoping those in charge start making intelligent decisions regarding our planet. Every year men and women risk their lives to try and put out flames that grow larger every year. I have a nephew who is constantly in harm’s way as well as 2 high school friends that I’ve given up on ever seeing during the summer. This planet is trying to tell us it’s in trouble and I’m afraid too many people are more concerned with their pocketbook

  5. HOTSHOT PRAYER When I am called to duty , Lord . To fight the roaring blaze ,Please keep me safe and strong . I may be here for days . Be with my fellow crew members , as we hike up to the top . Help is cut enough line , for the blaze to stop . Let my skills and hands be firm and quick . Let me find those safety zones , as we hit and lick . For if this day on the line , I should lose my life , Lord, bless my hotshot crew my children and my wife .

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