Franklin Fire 183 Acres, $354,000.00, Why?

“Short Location Description (in reference to nearest town):
7 miles @ 330 deg. from town of Iditarod”

The Franklin Fire 183 acres in size, burning seven miles from Iditarod Alaska no spread, no urgency, why bother? Not being familiar with local weather, terrain or fuel conditions it’s difficult to judge if the expense and effort to actively fight this fire was necessary or prudent.

Another Alaska incident , The Big Creek Fire has consumed 3,500 acres and as of today is 50% contained. According to fire records the fire remotely located;

“Short Location Description (in reference to nearest town):
10 miles South East Ruby, Alaska”

No costs estimates on the larger blaze but you have to know with 175 total personnel, 45 of which are overhead that this is a costly, maybe over $1,000,000.

The Fed. Active Fire Page shows a couple of blazes in the Mollie Beattie Wilderness that are burning 61 miles or more from the nearest town. No information is to be found anywhere on these incidents, if you want to call them that so I’ll assume they are left to burn.

I’m not in a position to say which Alaska wildfires should be suppressed or left to burn. A close friend reminded me Alaska forest managers keep a lid on these remote fires to prevent a repeat of the 2004 Alaska fire season that claimed over 6 million acres.

I don’t know where the environmentalists stand on this issue of burn or suppress. Firefighters want to fight fire no matter where it is and I understand that but there is a balance and some forests should be allowed to evolve naturally and that means at least some fires must be allowed to burn. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a great page on the subject of living with fire.

Finally I want to add these Alaska firefighters are dealing with elements us here in the lower 48 don’t often think about. Fire is only part of the danger equation;