SR 20 Still Closed As Crews Work In And Around Sourdough Fire
The Sourdough Fire is now burning 1,711 acres just to the north of State Route 20 near the town of Newhalen.
The Highway has been closed since the fire began in late July because of hazards presented by the fire.
However, response team spokesperson Nicholas Digiacco says discussion is ongoing about possibly opening SR 20 back up
"Conversations continue to occur between local, state and fire personnel to assess the threat of the fire along that state route corridor, and it's still closed," said Digiacco.
A 36 mile stretch of SR 20 is closed between Newhalem to Rainy Pass.
Meanwhile, Crews have been focused on shielding buildings and structures like the Ross Lake Resort and Big Beaver Suspension Bridge from the fire.
Digiacco says conditions lately are having a calming effect on the fire.
“With mild temperatures, increasing humidity and limited wind, it’s really contributed to moderate to low fire behavior,” Digiacco said.
The fire has also not been emitting much smoke in the last day or so because of continued moisture.
The more robust national level Type 2 Northwest Incident Management Team 10 took charge of the fire Monday, replacing the state level team Type 3 Southern Area Incident Management Team.
There are some challenges as the Sourdough Fire in burning on rugged, steep and mountainous forestland.
Helicopters are playing a major role in battling the fire by delivering equipment to crews in areas not served by roads and making bucket drops on the fire’s most active areas.
A total of 340 personnel is working the fire, including six Hand Crews. There are 22 fire engines assigned to the fire along with five water trucks. Four helicopters are also in use.
The fire started with a lightning strike on July 29.