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East Fork Fire

Unit Information

Kenai-Kodiak Area Forestry
Soldotna, AK, AK 99669

Incident Contact

Tim Mowry
Phone: 907-356-5511

Highlighted Activity

06/27/2017 East Fork Fire Update 6/27/17
This will be the final update for the East Fork Fire unless significant activity occurs. Transition to a Type 4 Incident Commander took place this morning at 7am. The last of the smokejumpers and...
News - 06/27/2017
Smokejumpers packing their parachutes and receiving paracargo on 6-15-17. Photo Credit: Robert YeagerImage options: [ Full Size ]

The East Fork Fire was reported on June 15 at 6:25 p.m. and it continues to burn in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge. The lightning-caused fire grew rapidly and was estimated at 100 acres by the time air attack personnel from Palmer arrived. It is burning east of the East Fork of the Moose River, approximately 4 ½ miles northeast of the Sterling Highway.

As of June 28, the 1,016-acre fire continues to burn in a limited protection area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, there are 27 personnel assigned to the fire. The Pioneer Peak Hotshots will remain in the field to monitor the fire and finalize improvements to the ENSTAR natural gas pipeline corridor.

The fire is burning in primarily black spruce with some mixed hardwoods. Given the volatility of black spruce, the fire exhibited extreme fire behavior when it began Thursday night with crowning and 30- to 40-foot flame lengths. Due to the extreme fire behavior and the fire’s proximity to local infrastructure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the decision to take suppression action on the Southwest portion of the fire. The Alaska Division of Forestry assisted with the firefighting efforts.

Winds predominately from the south are pushing the fire farther into the refuge, away from roads and populated areas. The Alaska Division of Forestry is coordinating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the fire for ecological benefits in the refuge.

Cloud cover and light rains have moved into the area and are expected to continue to moderate the fire activity. Although parts of the Kenai Peninsula are receiving significant amounts of rain, the fire area is in a rain shadow, therefore is not expected to receive much rain over the next few days. Fires burning in deep duff and tundra require significant amounts of rain to put them completely out. Therefore, fire activity will likely increase once again when warmer and drier weather returns to the area.

The prevailing winds from the south have the potential to push smoke into Anchorage.

One June 27, the fire was transitioned to a Type 4 Incident Commander.

For more information contact Tim Mowry of the Alaska Division of Forestry at 907-356-5511.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday June 15th, 2017 approx. 06:30 PM
Location15 miles NE of Soldotna, AK
Incident CommanderA. Kohley / A. Seaton(t)
Coordinates60.596 latitude, -150.521 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel27
Size1,016 Acres
Estimated Containment DateMonday July 31st, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Black Spruce and Hardwoods

Significant Events

Minimal, Smoldering, Creeping


Planned Actions

Fire transitioned to a Type 4 incident at 0800 this morning. Miscellaneous overhead were demobed off the fire. Pioneer Peak IHC will continue improvements on pipeline corridor.

Projected Incident Activity

Fire activity reduced due to received moisture.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Fire experienced cooler temperatures, high relative humidity and light showers throughout today.