Wildfire burns 25 acres in Anchorage, Alaska

M.L.K. Fire Anchorage
Smoke rises from a wildfire in East Anchorage on Tuesday afternoon, July 2, 2019. Photo by Jason Jordet/Alaska Division of Forestry.

(Originally published at 3:53 p.m. July 3, 2019 ADT)

Two 20-person crews and additional firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry are working Wednesday to contain the 25-acre M.L.K. Fire in East Anchorage, Alaska.

The fire which was reported at 4:28 p.m. on Tuesday, spread quickly in or near the Bureau of Land Management’s Campbell Tract but Wednesday afternoon it is holding at 25 acres. On Tuesday three air tankers and a helicopter dropped water and retardant helping to slow the spread of the fire. Smokejumpers worked into the early morning hours Wednesday looking for hotspots. Firefighters also placed a hose line around the fire to provide a water supply to extinguish any hot spots found.

M.L.K. Fire Anchorage
A squad of firefighters from Mat-Su Area Forestry walk into the M.L.K. Fire to begin mop up operations on Wednesday morning, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry.

Tuesday afternoon the Baker River Interagency Hotshot Crew from Washington responded to the fire from the Swan Lake Fire on the Kenai Peninsula and the Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack Crew was pulled from a fire near Lake Louise to assist with containment. A task force of four engines was also brought up from the Swan Lake Fire. A total of 66 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Today the two crews and the firefighters from the Mat-Su Area forestry office are focused on creating a chain saw line – cutting a swath through the vegetation around the perimeter of the fire to keep it from expanding. Fire managers expect to complete containment this evening.

M.L.K. Fire Anchorage
The MLK Fire burning in East Anchorage on Tuesday, July 2. BLM/AFS photo.

(Most of the text above is courtesy of the BLM/AFS)

There were no reports of injuries or burned structures. Soon after it started a few dozen people, including part of a mobile home park, were ordered to evacuate, but that was cancelled by 7 p.m.

The video below posted by the Alaska Division of Forestry, shows impressive flames that firefighters reported to be 60-feet long.

The blaze burned primarily in Black Spruce but slowed considerably as it moved into hardwoods.

M.L.K. Fire Anchorage
Firefighters from Mat-Su Area Forestry haul hose and other supplies down a trail to access and mop up the M.L.K. Fire in East Anchorage on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo by Stephanie Bishop/Alaska Division of Forestry.


The article was revised to correctly indicate that the Baker River Hotshots’ home base is in Washington.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Steven. Typos or errors, report them HERE.