Work continues on Card Street fire

  • By MEGAN PACER and KELLY SULLIVAN
  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:39pm
  • News

Crews continued to work on getting water to the interior of the Card Street fire and establishing fire lines throughout Tuesday.

Firefighters have been planning a controlled burn of 2,000 acres of at-risk forested area near a boat launch on Skilak Lake, however conditions have not been good for the burn, said Public Information Officer Sarah foster. The original plan for Tuesday was to use an aerial method of burning the area, which had not burned completely and was at risk to re-igniting.

The process involves a helicopter and ping-pong balls, Foster said. Also known as “dragon eggs,” the ignition devices are filled with an inert chemical. As the ball is shot from the helicopter it is simultaneously injected with a second chemical that causes a reaction, and when the device hits the ground it bursts into fire, she said.

Foster said crews were on the verge of testing one acre of that land to see if the entire burn could be carried out Tuesday evening.

“The conditions have just gotten to the point that they are in prescription,” Foster said.

. “They were going to light one acre from the ground just to see if it took. Sometimes you spend a lot of time planning and the weather doesn’t cooperate.”

The fuel needs to be dry enough for the entire area to burn.

Otherwise, Foster said it will not be worth attempting the controlled burn.

The Card Street fire has not grown, and is still at 25 percent containment. Foster said establishing fire lines, mopping up and pumping water into the interior of the fire will continue to be main focuses for firefighters.

Two minor injuries have been reported in relation to the Card Street Fire.

Foster said one firefighter sustained a minor finger injury which required stitches, while another was transported to Soldotna to be treated for heat-related illness. Both firefighters were back in the field on Tuesday.

“One of the things that is so important to us is that…we take really good care of our firefighters,” Foster said.

Foster said there are two emergency medical technicians in camp, three in the field and several scattered with other crews.

Other heath-related issues, such as exhaustion, colds and stomach problems are common when fighting fires, she said. Adjusting to extended daylight has been especially difficult for crews from the Lower 48, Foster said, and they are taking extra care to make sure they get enough sleep.

“You don’t make good decisions when you’re tired,” Foster said.

Enstar Natural Gas continued visiting homes in the Kenai Keys Tuesday to restore service to the area.

“They still have a little bit more to go,” said Communications Manager Lindsay Hobson.

Hobson said Enstar personnel will continue working in the Kenai Keys on Wednesday to restore service to all remaining customers. Residents can call Enstar to set up appointments to have their service restored, Hobson said.

The number to set up an appointment with Enstar is 262.9335.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com or Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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