Wildfire Starts in Stebbins After Blaze Escapes Community Dump


Since Friday evening, a fire has been burning near the waste dump in the community of Stebbins.

About a half a mile away from Stebbins, the wildfire has been burning in an area of six acres very close to the community’s dump. According to the Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service, on Saturday, eight smokejumpers and multiple airplanes concentrated on the blaze that was half an acre within the dump perimeter.

Beth Ipsen, spokesperson for the BLM Alaska Fire Service, says the fire became their priority when already-burning debris in the dump went rogue around 9:30 Friday night.

“Unfortunately, sometimes we do have a fire get outside the confines of the dump, spread into the tundra, and it was headed towards the village of Stebbins. Every year, we seem to have a few of these dump fires where the fire within the dump that’s burning debris, escapes the confines of the dump,” Ipsen continued, “Firefighters will not go within the dump because of the hazardous materials, but they will suppress the fire that is outside the dump.”

Ipsen reports that by this morning, the six emergency firefighters from a Grayling crew had finished mopping up the fire that escaped the dump.

Image above: KNOM file photo, Stebbins, Alaska. Photo: Emily Russell, KNOM.