Helicopters and Boats Demobilize Equipment on McCoy Creek Fire

The operations on the McCoy Creek Fire in Alaska are beginning to wind down as equipment is demobilized and crews are sent home. On Saturday, five “sling loads” and three boats full of backhaul were returned from the fire area. “Sling loads” refer to the process of using a helicopter to haul a net full of equipment, weighing up to 2000 pounds, with a long line. This equipment includes essential items such as pumps, hoses, sprinklers, and trash accumulated during the firefighting operations.

As the work period for crews on the McCoy Creek Fire comes to an end, a staggered demobilization will take place. This means that crews will gradually be sent home until only a limited number of resources remain to monitor the fire activity. Once officials determine that there is no longer a threat to the Salcha River Corridor, the remaining resources will be reassigned. The Union Hotshots, who were fighting the fire, have already been demobilized and will return to Oregon. The North Pacific Handcrew, the White Mountain Handcrew, and the West Coast Handcrew are among the firefighters who will continue to work on the McCoy Creek Fire.

In terms of evacuations, the Lower Salcha River, from river mile 3 to 40, is currently in a Set status, while the Middle Salcha, from river mile 40 to 61, remains in a Ready status. The Salcha River Recreation Area is closed to the public to ensure the safety of firefighters. However, property owners can still access the river at the boat ramp, although caution is advised due to the ongoing fire and evacuation status.

The Harding Lake Campground is closed, but the boat ramp remains open for public use. Fire managers are working with Alaska State Parks to determine a reopening date for the areas that are currently closed to the public.


– Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection