First wildfire of 2016 reported near Delta Junction
(Fairbanks, AK) – Alaska’s first wildfire of 2016 was reported south of Delta Junction on Monday.
The fire was ignited by live-fire training on military land approximately 10 miles south of Delta Junction and was reported to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center in Fairbanks at 12:55 p.m. by range control personnel from the Donnelly Training Area. Firefighters from the Fort Greely Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire.
The total acreage of the fire was unknown but AFS personnel will travel to the scene on Tuesday to determine the size of the fire.
The fire was burning in open tundra and was driven by 25 mph winds, according to Branden Petersen, assistant fire manager for the Alaska Fire Service’s Military Zone. The wind and lack of snow in the area allowed the fire to spread, Petersen said. Smoke was visible from Delta Junction and the Alaska Division of Forestry office in Delta Junction received reports from the public about smoke from the fire.
The Alaska Fire Service, the fire suppression agency responsible for protecting military lands in Alaska, mobilized four personnel to respond to the fire but they were stood down after Fort Greely firefighters responded.