July 2, 2015
(Tok, AK) –The Chisana River 2 Fire is a lightning-caused fire that began June 9 in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It is 37,705 acres in size and has burned into the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. The fire is located along the west side of the Chisana River about 15 miles south of the Alaska Highway and the same distance west of the Canadian border. Minimal fire activity occurred during the last week of June.
The Type 3 incident management team actively monitoring the Chisana fire will transition to a smaller Type 4 organization at end of shift Friday, July 3.
No structures or cabins are threatened as this time, and the fire is not threatening the community of Chisana. The two cabins closest to the fire are the King City Cabin and Stuver Creek Cabin. Firefighters have set up sprinklers around the cabins to wet down the area in case the fire becomes more active.
Fire managers continue working to limit impacts from this fire to travelers along the Alaska Highway corridor. Smoke from this and other wildland fires may be affecting visibility along the Alaska Highway between Tok and the Canadian border. Motorists are urged to drive with lights on and slow down when visibility is poor or firefighting equipment is present.
As the wildland fire protection agency for the area, the Alaska Division of Forestry office in Tok is working closely with interagency managers from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs to monitor the fire and prepare appropriate actions to protect life, property, and travel on the Alaska Highway. The fire is burning in a limited protection area and no suppression efforts have been taken thus far. Federal land managers have opted to let the fire take its natural course, as fire in the boreal forest of Alaska is an essential process that restores ecosystem health and helps to maintain species diversity. Once again, agency managers will step in when measures are necessary to protect life or property.
This will be the final update unless significant activity takes place on this incident.