It took about 50 water buckets containing 240 gallons of water each to extinguish a Saturday afternoon grass fire, according to Eric Main, base manager for Timber, Exploration, Mining, Survey, Cargo Operations base manager.
Main said in a Monday interview that two of the company’s tour helicopters were the first to see the fire located south of Wren Drive and east of Montana Creek Bridge, which was then called in to Main, who then contacted Juneau Police Department and Capital City Fire/Rescue.
“I told CCFR we could assist just because it was in an area that they would have had a hard time accessing from the ground, which is what we determined, they wouldn’t be able to access it with vehicles where the fire was. So, (CCFR Assistant Chief) Ed Quinto told us to go ahead and launch a helicopter for fire suppression.”
Main was the pilot responsible for extinguishing grass fire, which he said took roughly two hours. When the fire was first reported, it was first at 300 feet in diameter and by the time Main had finished extinguishing the flames, he estimated the fire had burned three to four acres. Main said for Southeast Alaska, it was a “relatively fast-moving fire.”
Additionally, Main said that no structures or property were burned in the process, only muskeg with grass, alders and spruce trees. Main also said that it’s been about three years since the last time TEMSCO was called in to assist with fire suppression. That fire was at Eagle Beach.
“It’s pretty infrequent that we deal with that in Southeast Alaska as far as assisting CCFR because normally they can get to a lot of stuff within the city and borough and outside of that it usually falls to the forest service who have wildland crews,” Main said. “We have multiple helicopters that work for Government agencies that are contracted to do that specifically, but it’s pretty infrequent, however, we are capable and ready when it does happen.”
CCFR thanked TEMSCO in a Facebook post for “helping the community when needed.” The cause of the fire at this time is still undetermined.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.