2000-acre tundra fire burns near Point Hope
A tundra fire that has grown to 2,000 acres as of Monday afternoon is burning near Point Hope, officials say.
Eight Smokejumpers from Fort Wainwright were sent about 16 miles east of Point Hope to fight the Tusikpak Lake Fire Monday night -- a modified protection area on ANSCA-corporation land and within 2.5 if Native allotments., according to the Alaska Wildland Fire Information blog.
The fire was reported at 9:46 a.m. on Monday through FAA Flight Service. It was originally believed to be burning near 7 Mile Road. However, two Galena Zone Fire Specialists flew over the area and got a better view of the size of the blaze and its location.
"It was spreading at a moderate rate about 10 miles from the end of the road that travels east of the North Slope village," the blog read. "Seventy percent of the fire’s perimeter was estimated to be active with most of the fire spread heading to the south. There are about seven cabins and numerous allotments to the north of the fire on the Kukpuk River. Thankfully, there are still some fingers of snow between the fire and these cabins and allotments. However, the exposed grass is dry and, coupled with a wind, is why the fire grew to 2,000 acres in one day."
Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman with the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska Fire Service, said Tuesday that the state has seen 19 new fires start since Monday -- including 11 in Galena’s fire management zone.
“We’ve had quite a bit of lightning across the state in the past two days,” Ipsen said. “The Galena area hasn’t gone to greenup so some of the grass in that area is very dry.”
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