Fire update: 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Aug 28, 2019

supplies and equipment headed for the Caribou Lake Fire.

The Caribou Lake Fire, 25 miles northeast of Homer, is still 20 percent contained. Today, Forestry officials announced a 4 acre increase in the size of the fire from 900 to 904 acres.

Minimal fire growth is expected over the next several days as the predicted cloud cover will help to moderate fire activity. Around 80 people are fighting the fire on the ground and in the air.

The Alaska Division of Forestry asks hunters in Caribou Lake to please stay away from the fire area.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect for the Caribou Lake area. The TFR does include a restriction on drones.

Drivers out East End should be aware that Forestry is using a gravel lot on Basargin Road. Signs and flags are on the road near the area.

The North Fork Fire, 6 miles northwest of Homer, is now 100 percent contained at 59 acres.Forestry will begin demobilizing North Fork firefighters at the end of their shift today, Wednesday.

Sarah Saarloos, public information officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry spoke with KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson today, Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.

Transcript:

KBBI:
Good morning. Sarah Saarloos, public information officer for the Alaska division of Forestry. Is North Fork fire officially out? Is demobilization going to happen today?

Saarloos:
The process of demobilizing those crews will happen at the end of shift today.

KBBI:
That's great news. And how about the Caribou Lake Fire?

Saarloos:
Well, the Caribou Lake Fire is mostly smoldering and creeping. We did have some single tree torching because it was a really dry and we did have a little bit more wind yesterday on the fire. They were able to do really tight mapping yesterday because of those clear skies, and so the fire did grow by four acres to 904 acres.

KBBI:
And, any increase in containment?

Saarloos:
We're still staying with that 20 percent containment. What we need is to be able to get more water to some of the places where they've held the fire. So the fire isn’t moving. The crews received multiple sling loads of hose yesterday to be able to transport and bring that water to those areas of heat.

KBBI:
Okay the Caribou Lake fire temporary flight restriction is still in order. Hunters, please stay away from the fire area. The lot on Basargin Road is still in use by forestry, right?

Saarloos:
You know what we're talking about the TFR that also includes any sort of drone use. There's been a couple other fires that have had to shut down air operations because people have been flying drones.

Just weather wise, it’s going to be another sunny day today, but then it's supposed to shift later on in the week to getting that more cloudy rainier typical August weather.

KBBI:
And that will help you increase the containment line?

Saarloos:
Yeah, having that shift of weather, that'll just help speed up the process of the crews being able to get the hose out there. More hose will go out today.

The water is needed from those hose lines to make sure there's that buffer of 75 feet around, around the perimeter of the fire. And then once that's done then they can say that that section of line is contained.

KBBI:
Okay, thanks

Saarloos:
There's some folks that are coming in from out of area that don't realize that there's a fire out there. Before they get the four-wheelers unloaded and start driving out there. There's an actual sign that says fire information. So we're hoping that will help.

KBBI:
The signboard you're talking about, the information board, is that the Snomad's board?

Saarloos:
I have information posted at the Snomad’s board. And then also we brought up a sign board at the end of where the gravel pit, where the heli-spot is. So there are two places where someone out there can look at the latest maps that can get the latest information.

KBBI:
You can even exchange information there.

Saarloos:
Yes. We do have someone staged there when we have helicopter operations, making sure that we don't have people zipping up there on their four-wheelers when we're using the helicopter out to the firefighters.

I'm going to hit the farmers market today. It's my first time so I'm excited about that.

KBBI:
Oh, you're going “officially’ going to the farmers market.

Saarloos:
Officially going…. What we'll do is – I’ll have my car in the parking lot and have the Alaska Firewise booklet. So we'll be there today, I believe, from 2 to 5 p.m.

KBBI:

Thank you so much.

Saarloos:
Okay, Kathleen.