The Anchorage Fire Department is responding to a wildfire just less than a mile from an East Anchorage neighborhood.


The fire was first reported at 5:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. AFD Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc said the fire was located on military land and was difficult to reach, so the department has reached out to the Alaska Division of Forestry and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for assistance alongside AFD units dispatched to the area.


A private pilot flying over the fire reported to AFD it was roughly 50 feet by 60 feet in size, LeBlanc said. A later estimate put the fire at roughly a fifth of an acre. A DOF Helitack helicopter was dispatched to confirm the fire’s size and assist efforts to control the blaze, according to LeBlanc.


LeBlanc said the helicopter was also being used to drop buckets of water from a nearby pond over the fire. Additionally, three JBER and three AFD units were fighting the fire, according to AFD Battalion Chief Tim Garbe.


LeBlanc said it was unclear what caused the fire. He did note lightning struck near the fire, but was not hindering fire crews’ efforts.


This is a developing story, please check back for updates. KTVA’s Eric Ruble contributed to this report.