As fires slow, wild fire management transitions

Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 10 on Sept. 1 (Photo from Inciweb)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - As rain has finally arrived in Southcentral Alaska, fire management teams are scaling back their operations leading to transitions to lower level management teams.

Incident command teams are ranked by the complexity of the management needed, taking into account factors such as the fire's proximity to populated areas, the amount of government agencies involved, amount of resources required, and the fire behavior. Type 5 teams are used for the least complex fires, while Type 1 teams are used for the most complex ones, often involving over 500 people.

The Swan Lake Fire is currently transitioning from Type 1 to Type 2, reflecting moderating conditions after recent rain. Jeff Burber of the Grat Basin Team 1 says that the team will transition to Northern Rockies Team 4.

"We spend a day pretty much getting them oriented to what's been done in the last three weeks and what work was done before this team got here," said Burber in a video update.

The team is also pulling out some hose lay that was laid near the Resurrection Trail, which Burber says indicates the team's confidence that the fire won't grow in that direction.

The 1,318-acre Deshka Landing Fire officially transferred management today, Monday, Sept. 9, from the Type 2 Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 10 to the Alaska Department of Natural Resource.

The McKinley Fire management is also starting to scale down in terms of personnel on the fire, though the speed limit on the Parks Highway is still at 45 mph and residents in the area area in Level 1-Ready evacuation.

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