Fire update: 9 a.m. Sunday, August 25, 2019

Aug 25, 2019

Fire Boss plane over Caribou Lake Fire
Credit AK Division of Forestry

The Caribou Lake Fire, 25 miles northeast of Homer, is 20 percent contained and is estimated to cover 900 acres.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect for the Caribou Lake area.
Two more crews arrived yesterday bringing the number of firefighters to around 80 people fighting the Caribou Lake Fire. The majority the heat of the fire is on the north flank.

The North Fork Fire, 6 miles northwest of Homer, is now 100 percent contained at 59 acres.
The Alaska Division of Forestry has lifted the READY alert status for the Diamond Ridge/North Fork area. 

KBBI’s Kathleen Gustafson spoke with Public Information Officer, Sarah Saarloos from the Alaska Division of Forestry at 8 a.m.  for this Fire Update:

Transcript:

Saarloos:
Good morning, Kathleen, some really good news that we want to get out today. The North Fork fire is a hundred percent contained. It was at eight o'clock last night. So at the end of shift they were able to walk the full perimeter. Be able to make sure that there was no heat remaining. So that fire is buttoned up.

It's a hundred percent contained we were able to release the ready. It's been two days. That's the real success story, mutual aid, response between Alaska division of Forestry and the local fire departments, being able to work together and keep something from becoming a an issue for the community. KBBI:
Okay, then let's talk about the Caribou Lake Fire.

Saarloos:
So what we have out on the Caribou Lake fire today - two additional crews arrived. So that bumps personnel up to 78 people out there on the Caribou Lake Fire today. The size is.... We did by the IR last night and it shows a small increase in size from 895 to 900 acres.
 The majority of the heat appears to be along the north flank. It's holding at 20%. The additional thing that I just want to bring up. What we have going over at the Caribou Lake Fire is a TFR a temporary flight restriction, and that's because we are going to be moving in a lot more equipment with helicopters for the safety of the aircraft the firefighting aircraft and also the safety of our local pilots.

KBBI:
At the meeting last night, they were talking about a helipad that was installed off Basargin Road.

Saarloos:
That's correct, and it was more for efficiency. That's not going to be a long-term helibase but to be able to get those crews in. They looked at the most efficient place to be able to do that shuttling and that was the location that they came up with to get the crews out there and it was successful. But they also will be settling much-needed equipment to be able to get that containment up to a hundred percent for the Caribou Lake, with aircraft that are being used both for the Caribou Lake and the Swan Lake Fire, a pool of aircraft. We do have large scoopers that are CL 215s or CL for 15, depending who you ask and then we also have the smaller planes that you see scooping out of  Caribou Lake. KBBI:
I heard Evans Quo say that two of the water scoopers are on loan from Canada.

Saarloos:
We do. The State of Alaska has an agreement with Canada when we're in high fire danger or have active fires. It's a contract that's already pre-loaded and we share our resources back and forth.

KBBI:
Well, Sarah Saarloos public information officer for the Alaska division of Forestry,thank you for the update.

Saarloos:
That's good Kathleen. Thank you.

KBBI:
And so to recap the North Fork fire is 100 percent contained as of 8:00 p.m. last night, Saturday night, August 24th. The Caribou Lake Fire is at 20 percent containment estimated now at 900 acres and there is a temporary flight restriction for the Caribou Lake area.