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More Alaska fire crews head to the Lower 48

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Posted: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 5:32 pm

FAIRBANKS - More Alaska fire crews left Fairbanks early Wednesday to battle wildfires raging in several Western states.

This is the second group of Emergency Firefighter crews, known as EFFs, sent from Alaska to the Lower 48 this week. The latest batch consisted of five crews — St. Michael, Koyuk, Selawik No. 2, Shageluk and Scammon Bay.

The crews were briefed Tuesday night and left Wednesday for Utah, where they will receive specific assignments from the Great Basin Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, according to a notice from the Alaska Division of Forestry.

No additional Alaska EFF crews had been requested as of Wednesday afternoon.

Five other Alaska EFF crews left Monday to help fight the Fontenelle Fire in Wyoming. That group consisted of the Nondalton No. 1, Copper River No. 1, Venetie No. 2, Fort

Yukon No. 3 and Kenai crews.

The Fontenelle Fire had burned just over 52,000 acres of Tuesday. It is burning in the area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.

Alaska EFF crews that are sent to the Lower 48 generally each have 20 people and can be broken into three squads. The crews are made smaller when kept in Alaska, according to the state’s crew management guide.

Alaska’s fire season has so far been relatively mild, meaning that the state has personnel available to send to Lower 48 wildfires.

Contact the newsroom at 459-7572.

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