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Remembering the Jocko Lakes Fire – 2007-2017

Clearwater Resource Council highlights anniversary at Celebrate the Clearwater Event June 25

 


SEELEY LAKE - Nearly 10 years ago, on Friday, August 3, 2007, the Jocko Lakes Fire burst to life on the eastern shore of the Jocko Lakes, ten miles east of Seeley Lake. By Saturday, August 4, the fire took a shocking run, straight towards the homes and businesses of Seeley Lake.

Fire departments and fire crews responded from Seeley, Condon, Greenough-Potomac and other nearby communities. As the fire grew, a Type II Incident Management Team arrived, and then the Alaska Interagency Type I Team.

The fire burned 36,388 acres, came within a mile of Seeley Lake, and became the #1 priority forest fire in the country. Hundreds were evacuated, National Guard troops managed restricted traffic on Highway 83 and the community came together during a dramatic six week period. Although several outbuildings burned, only one home was destroyed.

How did the fire start? How was it fought? What have we done to prevent a similar wildland fire in our future? What more should be done?

Clearwater Resource Council is commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Jocko Lakes Fire at their annual Celebrate the Clearwater event and barbecue Sunday, June 25, at 3 p.m. in the Seeley Lake Community Hall. Featured speaker is Tim Love, the Seeley Lake District Ranger during the fire, plus photos from Donna Love, a silent auction and a delicious free Texas barbecue with beverages.

A newly released book of photography from the fire by Angie Kimmel will be featured in the silent auction, with proceeds going to the Seeley Lake Fire Department. A 90-minute driving tour of sites of the Jocko Fire showing the rebirth in the landscape following the fire will begin at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 25, meeting at the Grizzly Claw Trading Company in Seeley.

CRC’s fuel mitigation program has been pivotal in providing federal grants to local residents to fund fuel mitigation on their private property. This strategic work, and the fuel reduction done on the heavily wooded Double Arrow Ranch, has made DAR a “Firewise” community. Join us on Sunday, June 25 to take a look at what the community has done since 2007 to protect area homes and landscape, to receive information about how to protect your property, and most importantly – to look forward to where we need to go in the future.

 

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