Fire update 1:30 p.m. Wed., August 21, 2019

Aug 21, 2019

Caribou Lake Fire, taken Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Credit AK Division of Forestry

East winds are expected to gust to 20 mph tonight which will effect fire suppression efforts on the Caribou Lake and North Fork fires. KBBI’s Kathleen Gustafson spoke with Bob Cicciarella, Chief of Kachemak Emergency Services at 1:30 this afternoon for this update.


Chief Cicciarella:
Okay, so the North Fork Fire, they have a complete dozer line around it and are completing the waterline. Homer Fire is assisting with a tanker and a pumper pumping water up the hill to the forestry guys. They have continued the READY for residents north of Diamond Ridge and the reason for that is there is a wind event expected for tonight. And tomorrow is going to be east winds that could gust up to 20 miles an hour. But otherwise that fire is in fairly good check but you know due the fact that there are some hot spots in there, a wind event could cause something to flare up, but it is in pretty good check right now.

As far as the Caribou Lake fire goes it's estimated at around 700 Acres right now.

Yeah, but that's been since last night.

Chief Cicciarella:
And it's been a problem with getting the better handle on it is because it's really hard for the air assets to get a good perimeter.  Smoke is so bad out there. They can't really see all the edges of the fire.

We're going to be concentrating on the west flank today because of the upcoming wind event. So they'll be shoring up the west flank and there's Hotshot crews, smokejumpers. We brought in two crews yesterday and then there is crew from Kachemak Emergency on that fire as well. Kachemak Emergency is providing the water with a couple of side-by-side Bryce units and portable pumps.  

Conditions must be intense out there, low visibility and hard to breathe.

Chief Cicciarella:
There have been some structures threatened, off and on, depending on the wind and which direction. That day breeze comes up and it shifts around. But no structures have been lost as of this morning, is the report I got.
It's still very active. The structures are the priority for all the guys.

And yes, it's supposed to be an East Wind and that's why we're shoring
up the west side.

Thank you so much for your time.

Chief Cicciarella:
 Sure, you're welcome.