A small crew of eight smokejumpers were able to diminish a 2-acre wildfire near Minto on Saturday night with the help of two water-scooping planes.
The fire is burning near Ptarmigan Hill about 7.5 miles Northeast of Minto.
The Tractor Trail Fire is burning North of Minto Flats and was spotted by a Minto resident Saturday around 2:30 p.m. After investigation, fire crews were able to deduce the fire was caused by a lightning strike and was initially burning mostly in black spruce. Fire crews expect to have the blaze fully contained this morning.
Fire crews are also hoping to complete work on the Red Mountain Fire burning about 23 miles northeast of the community of Hughes. The Bureau of Land Management’s Fire Service’s Chena Interagency Hotshot Crew completed a hot spot search on much of the 63-acre blaze Saturday and continued Sunday. Some precipitation has assisted in diminishing the blaze since Wednesday. The Red Mountain Fire was also due to a lightning strike and began about a week ago. The fire is about 62% contained, according to the Alaska Fire Service.
Both blazes are burning in the BLM AFS Tanana Fire Management Zone and are being monitored closely.
Tanana Zone personnel also looked into a fire reported near the Minto Airport on Saturday, but an initial search did not find any indication of a burn. Fire crews plan to keep an eye on the area to ensure no fire exists.
As of Sunday, 179 wildfires have been reported, 41 of which were caused by lightning. The BLM AFS is expecting additional fires to turn up in the next few days due to anticipated lightning in the forecast.
Contact staff writer Erin McGroarty at 459-7544. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMPolitics.