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Boat aids in extinguishing fire near Tenakee

SITKA, ALASKA

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That’s inside Freshwater Bay, just east of Tenakee. 

 

About 200 square feet of forest burned there on Friday morning. Meryl and Gordon Chew, along with Darren Heath and Isaiah Strong left on board the boat, called the “Maggie’s Wake,” around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

 

Gordon Chew, the acting fire chief in Tenakee, says everything went well.

 

“It wasn’t a big fire. And it was an excellent training for us,” Chew said. “There was a lot of smoke and a lot of steam as we hosed the fire down, so it was a live fire. We looked at it as a live fire training opportunity, and it’s a lovely harbor. We didn’t want to see it burn, either.”

 

Chew says Pavlov Harbor is a popular recreation spot.

 

“It’s a great fishing spot, and it’s a wonderful bear viewing spot,” he said. “Bears fish there. There’s a waterfall and a fish ladder alongside, so it’s a great site to see.”

 

The fire spread not in the trees, but underneath deep spruce overburden. According to Chew’s report, smoke was filtering through the forest floor. And, he says, it appears that someone’s carelessly built campfire might have been responsible for the blaze.

 

“It looked like some effort was made to extinguish it, because we did find evidence of firewood being thrown into the water,” Chew said. “The fire was built in a totally inappropriate spot.”

 

The fire crew was back in Tenakee by 1:30 p.m.

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