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Wildfire erupts along Pasagshak Road; local fire crews battle the blaze

Photo courtesy of Jarod Ross.

Around 30 miles out of Kodiak City limits, a wildfire sprang into being on Pasagshak Road Saturday night. The fire had gained considerable size by Sunday evening, and firefighting aircraft and fire crews responded to control the blaze.

Women’s Bay Fire Department and Coast Guard Fire both deployed to the scene, and local property owners assisted in digging out a fire line to protect their land. No structures had been destroyed as of Sunday evening, and the fire has burned mostly through undeveloped marsh and meadows. Immediate estimates of the fire’s size were not available, but it appeared to have burned through several hundred meters of terrain.

Roy Moore, Assistant Fire Chief for Base Kodiak, said that the aerial support was a great help.

“We had air attack that was our eyes in the sky from Kenai. We also had an air tanker. They did two drops for us, which helped tremendously. We’ve got one engine, one tender, one brush truck, a command vehicle, and then some excavators and backhoes to help contain it,” Moore said.

The task hasn’t been made easier during a period of hot, dry weather for Kodiak. While the weather is bringing people from all over Kodiak outdoors, it is also more hospitable for wildfires.

Despite the weather, Moore’s outlook for the fire was optimistic. While there isn’t a specific timeline for when the fire will be fully contained, he says that it’s running up against natural barriers.

“But the terrain that it’s in right now- it is slowly but surely reaching spots where it can no longer burn. So it’s burning itself out in a lot of the places. But our handline crews are putting out the hotspots where there’s still vegetation to burn,” Moore said.

The local fire crews are expecting relief from a state fire team by Monday morning.