Just got off the phone with my son who is firefighting for the first time and was sent to Alaska last Wed.
Thursday they took them to the Eagle complex from Fairbanks, a 12 hour drive, a good chunk of the roads were gravel. It was too smokey for them to fly the crews in. I’m not sure, but they may not have made it there until Friday the 16. He called about three Thursday afternoon to let me know where he was headed. His cell phone actually worked in Fairbanks!
After arriving in Eagle they were sent to the Chicken fire for two days of initial attack. He said the smoke is so thick you can’t see the mountains. Then his crew was split up and five of them were dropped off in the woods for a while, but they got run out by the fire at some point……not sure when. They lived on MRE’s while they were fighting the Chicken fire. He arrived in Eagle tonight, said he is so glad to see people, (the village is about 150 people and four pay phones) and to get his first shower since leaving Idaho 07/14/04, and for real food. (Although he said the MRE’s aren’t bad!)
In his words, he said it is just crazy up there. The smoke is still real thick. He didn’t notice the little earthquake at Eagle last weekend. He said the tundra is nice to sleep on because it is squishy. It is also hard on your ankles because it squishes so much while your trucking across it. Then you dig down a foot and half and you hit ice!!!!
JaNet J, I have used the Alaska BLM sights referred to you. Look on the Eagle Complex map, enlarge it, and you will find the Chicken fire below it. It has been included in the reports the last four days. This link http://fire.ak.blm.gov/aicc/sitrptmain.pdf takes you to a lengthy report of individual fires, the Chicken fire is usually the second to the last page. Keep exploring the Alaska sights, there is allot of information out there. It helped me to know what he was talking about when he called, and got excited about that. He also thought his crew would probably be out for 21 days, then come back to Oregon.