Delaware wildfire crew should return to the First State by Monday, July 22
Fire officials say that a team of 20 Delaware wildland firefighters who have spent almost two weeks battling the Stuart Creek 2 Fire – an 85,000-acre blaze burning near North Pole, Alaska – are tentatively scheduled to return to the First State by Monday, July 22.
According to the latest update from the Eastern Area Coordination Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: “As of now, all eight crews (from the Eastern U.S.) will be flying out of Fairbanks on two jets on Sunday, July 21. Tentative departure times are 1030/1130. Arrival times in Harrisburg, PA will be approximately 2300 and 2400 EDT. All crews/crew members will be going to the Harrisburg Mobilization Center for the night. Due to the late arrival time, no one will be traveling home that night. Transportation home should be scheduled for the morning of July 22.”
The Delaware team will report back to Blackbird State Forest, 502 Blackbird Forest Road, Smyrna, DE 19977, (302) 653-6505. Estimated time of arrival could be sometime around noon.
Thanks to the Delaware crew’s hard work – as well as the support of hundreds of other personnel assigned to the Stuart Creek 2 Fire – conditions in Alaska have steadily improved over the past two weeks. Once assigned to a top-level “Type I Incident Management Team” due to the logistics and complexity of the blaze, the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center has taken over management of the incident in the past 24 hours and now reports that the fire is over 57 percent contained. Firefighters are now focused on constructing and holding the existing containment lines, looking out for sporadic spot fires and conducting “mop-up” operations.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, the National Preparedness Level – an index of wildfire severity nationwide – remains at 3 on a 5-point scale.
For more information, contact Henry Poole, Delaware Forest Service, 302-698-4548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.