Combating the Clear Fire
Fighting flames from the ground
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With the Clear Fire continuing to grow and threaten communities in the interior, the battle against the blaze has grown in intensity as well. Smoke has grounded much of the aerial support, yet the teams on the ground still fight the flames.
The ground work had at one point estimated containment at 8% according to planning section chief trainee, Darron Williams. The contained part of the blaze exists along the northwest corner. Down south and in the east activity remains and the fire has spread in both directions decreasing the level of containment.
One benefit of the containment is that efforts can be focused on the areas where the fire is more active. 22 miles of dozer line on the southeast end of the fire remain as the current defense for preventing fire from spreading further in the southeast area, yet plans are in place to stretch the dozer line all the way to the Parks Highway.
Another benefit of the line is that it allows firefighters to quickly and safely move resources to the spreading fire and begin a quick response to the fast moving flames. That line will likely see more use as the fire spreads east since, according to Williams. “that has been [the] main focus because that is where the homes are closest [to the fire].”
Earlier in the fire’s development, aerial attacks were utilized to reduce spread to homes in the south and the east. However since then, conditions have not been favorable for aircraft, which has kept the planes and helicopters grounded for the time being.
Leaving room for reassurance, Williams said, “[the fire] is not contained yet, but [they] are continuing to work daily on stopping this fire.”
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