The F/V Hunter Bay burning in Eliason Harbor (KCAW/Woolsey)

A troller is estimated to have sustained around $100,000 in damage after it caught fire in Sitka’s Eliason Harbor on Sunday afternoon. In a separate incident, another fishing boat near Yakutat burned to the waterline over the weekend.

Around 3 p.m. on Sunday (8-6-23), the Sitka Fire Department responded to reports that the 40-foot fishing vessel Hunter Bay was burning in its slip in Eliason Harbor. Department engineer Craig Hackett told KCAW that around 10 firefighters responded and used a hydropump to extinguish the blaze within 20 minutes. No one was aboard the boat when it caught fire and no injuries were reported.

Only the Hunter Bay’s interior was damaged. Hackett says the department believes the fire was electrical in origin.

In Yakutat over the weekend, firefighters spent the better part of a day trying to extinguish a blaze aboard a fishing vessel burning in a nearby bay.

Shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday, the Yakutat Public Safety Office received word that the longliner Morgan was burning near Monti Bay. Police chief John Waldron told KCAW that it took the fire department around 20 minutes to travel to the scene by boat. Around 20 firefighters and volunteers responded, fighting the blaze with extinguishers and portable pumps from three different boats. Waldron said they believe the cause was an electrical fire that started in the engine room.

All crew members evacuated the boat safely and no injuries were reported. Waldron said that after two hours battling the blaze, firefighters towed the Morgan to Yakutat, and had it out of the water by 5 p.m. He said he was especially thankful to all of the boaters who responded to aid the firefighters. Despite their efforts, the Morgan was a total loss. 

The longliner Morgan ablaze in Monti Bay. (Photo provided by Yakutat Fire Chief Casey Mapes)