The fire was started by lightning Sunday night. Smokejumpers arrived on Monday to begin laying firelines around the perimeter of the fire.
A 30-acre fire is burning 10 miles southwest of Ekwok. The fire was started by lightning Sunday night. So far no injuries or structure damage have been reported.
Smokejumpers landed in Ekwok Monday, and set up fire lines around the blaze. But Sam Harrell, a public information office for the Division of Forestry, said they are struggling to get water to the scene due to droaught-like conditions.
“You guys are extremely dry out there," Harrel said. "The peat layer is dry so deep that they’re having a hard time.”
To help cool the fire, pilots have dropped water on the perimeter of the blaze, and crews are making good progress. But they need access to more water.
The crew was using a water pump to douse the flames. That pump failed yesterday. Harrel says smokejumpers are currently dry-mopping the fire.
“Their kind of walking shoulder to shoulder in a line and looking for hotspots," Harrel said. "Think of the fires edge, they’re walking along in the black inside the fire. They’re trying to create a wide perimeter around the fire. So if the interior part of the fire get active again it’s not going to have fuels or a chance to make is across that fires edge.”
A new water pump is arriving today. There is no reported containment at this time.
Another fire, measured at 160 acres, is burning by Kluktuk Creek between Ekwok and New Stuyahok in an open field. It is not considered a threat at this time.