An Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, drops approximately 700 gallons of water from a "Bambi Bucket" on to the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska, June 17. Two AKARNG Black Hawk helicopters flew a total of 200 bucket missions, dumping more than 144,000 gallons of water on the 300-acre Stetson Creek Fire on the Kenai Peninsula. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Balinda O'Neal)

An Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, drops approximately 700 gallons of water from a "Bambi Bucket" on to the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska, June 17. Two AKARNG Black Hawk helicopters flew a total of 200 bucket missions, dumping more than 144,000 gallons of water on the 300-acre Stetson Creek Fire on the Kenai Peninsula. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Balinda O'Neal)

Weather aids Cooper Landing progress, firefighter injured by bear

Both fires in the Cooper Landing area are better contained than they were on Monday.

A press release from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service states the Stetson Creek fire is 55 percent contained, while the Juneau Lake fire is 35 percent contained.

Public Information Officer Meg Cicciarella said there are no new size estimates for either fire. The Stetson Creek fire was last reported as being 212 acres, and the Juneau Lake fire was last reported at 573 acres.

Cicciarella said work continued as planned for both fires throughout Tuesday.

“They are still out there on the line,” Cicciarella said. “They’re working to increase their containment percentage. They’re continuing with their mop-up activities.”

According to an earlier press release, lower temperatures and higher humidity levels helped firefighters in their efforts to establish lines on the southeast section of the Stetson Creek fire and on the west and south sections of the Juneau Lake fire.

In another release from the USDA Forest Service, the first injury sustained through working with the fires was reported. The release states that a firefighter encountered a bear while fighting the Juneau Lake fire, and sustained minor injuries. According to the release, the firefighter was airlifted by a LifeMed helicopter to Anchorage and is “undergoing standard treatment for animal bites.”

Cicciarella said the incident occurred around 8:30 or 9 p.m., Monday, and that the firefighter was male. She said he walked about a mile from where the encounter happened to where the helicopter was waiting. No other injuries have been reported.

Cicciarella said a Temporary Flight Restriction is still in effect for areas over both fires.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

A "Bambi Bucket," hanging from an Alaska Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, releases more than 700 gallons of water onto the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska, June 17. Two AKARNG Black Hawk helicopters flew 200 bucket missions total, dumping more than 144,000 gallons of water on the 300-acre Stetson Creek Fire on the Kenai Peninsula portion of the Chugach National Forest. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Balinda O'Neal)

A “Bambi Bucket,” hanging from an Alaska Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter, releases more than 700 gallons of water onto the Stetson Creek Fire near Cooper Landing, Alaska, June 17. Two AKARNG Black Hawk helicopters flew 200 bucket missions total, dumping more than 144,000 gallons of water on the 300-acre Stetson Creek Fire on the Kenai Peninsula portion of the Chugach National Forest. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Balinda O’Neal)

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