Firefighters Contain Blaze Near Golovin

An aerial view of smoke rising from a fire near the village of Golovin, Alaska.

The Alaska Fire Service (AFS) has fought and contained a wildfire that started north of Golovin over the weekend.

Beth Ipsen is the public affairs specialist for AFS, a division of the Bureau of Land Management. She says Golovin residents reported seeing smoke in the distance late last Thursday night. Firefighters then deployed Friday afternoon with several aircraft.

“And they made great work on that first day. They walked the edge and secured that line, and had it controlled and contained on Sunday.”

Ipsen says there was no damage to property or life. The lightning-caused fire was far enough away from the community, about five miles up the coast of Golovnin Lagoon.

She says lightning strike numbers across northern Alaska have declined recently: Sunday saw only 800 strikes, while over 2,000 were recorded during several days last week.

A cold front also moved in from the Arctic and brought some rain. But Ipsen says regions like Western Alaska and the Central Interior are still fire-prone.

“Just be careful what you’re doing outdoors. I know that since it’s a little chilly, when you’re outside, you may want to start a warming fire. Never leave it unattended. Have a water source nearby. Make sure it’s cleared of all the grass around it. And put it out before you go.”

Ipsen says AFS is currently only fighting one wildfire in the entire Galena Zone, which covers northwest Alaska from Pilot Station northward.

Image at top: the Fishing Village Fire (#207) near Golovin (photo: Ryan McPherson, BLM AFS).