Smoke rises from a small fire on Douglas Island on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. The U.S. Forest Service extinguished the fire, as homes nearby were not in danger. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Smoke rises from a small fire on Douglas Island on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. The U.S. Forest Service extinguished the fire, as homes nearby were not in danger. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Fire by Lucky Me doesn’t put homes in danger

On Sunday afternoon, white smoke began to rise over the trees on Douglas Island near Lucky Me, a community about a mile from the end of the road that is only accessible by water.

Capital City Fire/Rescue responders contacted the U.S. Forest Service — which is responsible for the area — and USFS firefighters suppressed the fire. The fire was about 100 feet from a residential structure, according to USFS spokesperson Dru Fenster, and evacuation is not expected to be necessary. Strong winds were blowing the flames away from nearby houses.

The fire covered an area of about half an acre on City and Borough lands, and USFS firefighters were surrounding the area until about 11 p.m. Sunday. They extinguished stumps and logs and returned to the area Monday morning to continue securing the area, according to Fenster.

CCFR Chief Rich Etheridge said these kind of fires can be healthy for a forested area.

“Small grass and brush fires are not a bad thing,” Etheridge said. “They clean up the forest floors and reduce fuels for future fires. Not allowing some fires to burn has helped contribute to the fuel build up and massive fires we are seeing in the Lower 48.”

The USFS is responsible for responding to this area because of the 2015 Alaska Master Cooperative Wildland Fire Management and Stafford Act Response Agreement. The purpose of the agreement was to improve efficiency in addressing wildland fires and avoiding unnecessary duplication of two services such as USFS and CCFR. Each agency is responsible for defined areas, and Sunday’s fire is in an area designated for the USFS.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or alex.mccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

David Holmes digs through a pile of boardgames during Platypus Gaming’s two-day mini-con over the weekend at Douglas Public Library and Sunday at Mendenhall Public Library. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Good times keep rolling with Platypus Gaming

Two-day mini-con held at Juneau Public Library.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Juneau man indicted on child pornography charges

A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on charges of possessing or accessing… Continue reading

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Juneau’s municipal and state legislative members, their staff, and city lobbyists gather in the Assembly chambers Thursday meeting for an overview of how the Alaska State Legislature and politicians in Washington, D.C., are affecting local issues.
Local leaders, lawmakers and lobbyists discuss political plans for coming year

Morning meeting looks at local impact of state, national political climates.

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Captain Anne Wilcock recieves the Emery Valentine Leadership Award at the 2022 CCFR awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 14. (Courtesy Photo / CCFR)
CCFR honors responders during annual banquet

Capital City Fire/Rescue hosted its 2022 awards banquet earlier this month as… Continue reading

A resident and his dog walk past the taped off portion of the Basin Road Trestle after it suffered damaged from a rockslide earlier this week. The trestle is open to pedestrians, but will remain closed to vehicular traffic until structural repairs are made, according to city officials. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rocky road: Basin Road Trestle open to pedestrians, remains closed to vehicles

City officials say repairs are currently being assessed after damaging rockfall

Most Read