News: A wildfire flares up on JBER
Story by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - The 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services team and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry responded to a wildfire northeast of Otter Lake on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 25, 2014.
The wildfire spread across 10 acres on a training field in the Eagle River Delta. Two Helitack helicopters, provided by the Division of Forestry, made several water drops to contain the wildfire. All JBER fire stations provided ground support.
“Basically we are fighting spot fires around the area,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Joshua Wilson, 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter assistant chief of operations. “A spot fire is where the wind carries the sparks or embers to another untouched spot and burns there, so it makes our job harder in trying to find out where the fire started.”
Wilson said fighting the fire was difficult because it was located on a ridgeline. The crew members’ efforts were made more laborious going up and down the hill hauling fire hoses, hose attachments and axes.
Despite the challenging terrain, the firefighters and the crew members combined their efforts to quickly contain and properly keep the fire from rekindling safely.
"We owe a big thanks to our base and community's fire professionals," said Air Force Col. Brian P. Duffy, JBER and 673rd Air Base Wing commander. "Thanks to their swift actions, this incident has been contained with no injuries."
Although the fire was on base, it was not close to any buildings. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and the area is closed until further notice. The fire has been fully extinguished according to the 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron as of May 27.
For more information, visit www.jber.af.mil, the JBER official Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/JBERAK or call 907-552-8142.