Summer 2013 is the summer of fires. High temperatures (80F-93F) combined with no moisture has turned Two Rivers into a convection oven/tinderbox. A few weeks ago we battled the first fire just four miles from the kennel. The Kanuti fire began near the local watering hole, the Two Rivers Lodge, and made a run at all the surrounding homes and structures. Thanks to the quick response of fire fighters and air attack, the fire was contained with only one shed lost to the flames. This fire will always be one of my most memorable events, not just because of its proximity to the kennel, but also because Derek was one of the fire fighters protecting the neighborhood. Derek is a smokejumper with the BLM Alaska Fire Service, spending all summer parachuting into remote locations and fighting fires across the state. However, rather than driving the 20 miles out from Fairbanks, Derek arrived ‘jumper style,’ leaping from an airplane and landing in Meierotto field next to the house. Out of all the smokejumpers in Alaska, Derek was the one assigned to jump the Kanuti fire. Imagine my surprise when he landed in the field and I drove him to the fire line!
Currently, Two Rivers is threatened again by an even larger fire, Stuart Creek 2. Beginning in military land, the fire as grown to 30,000 acres and is making its way down the hills towards Chena Hot Springs Road and Ryno Kennel. A Type 1 Incident Command Team has taken over the fire, and with the help of lots of crews, is putting together a plan to protect Two Rivers. The community is currently on Evacuation Watch, meaning that we should be prepared to evacuate if necessary. The dog truck is loaded up with sleds and gear as a precaution. I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on the progress of the fire! For now, here are some pictures from the Kanuti Fire and the Stuart Creek 2 Fire.