Anchorage firefighters respond to large brush fire near Elmore and Dowling in Midtown


A helicopter drops water on a brush fire at Elmore and Dowling on Thursday. (Icnacio Bautista)

Update, 6 p.m. Thursday:

The fire has grown to 10 acres and is burning in a wooded area off Elmore Road and Dowling Road, according to Corey Allen Young, a city spokesman.

Young said the fire is about 25% contained and is not threatening structures. He said no one has been evacuated yet, but police have made contact with people living close by. He said helicopters continue to drop water and retardant on the flames.

“They’re confident they’re going to be able to knock this down,” he said.

He asked people to avoid the area, including the local trails.

There are 17 Anchorage Fire Department units responding to the fire along with two helicopters, three air tankers and crews with Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the Division of Forestry.

Young said officials do not yet know what started the fire.

Original story:

Anchorage firefighters on Thursday are responding to a large brush fire in Midtown Anchorage.

“There’s a square from Tudor across Elmore to Dowling. It’s burning at the center of that green belt,” said Anchorage Fire Department Deputy Chief Alex Boyd. “We’re going to be here a while.”

The fire was reported shortly before 3 p.m. in dense brush. By 3:40 p.m., the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management was reporting the fire at four acres. More than 20 Anchorage Fire Department units responded and a helicopter crew dropped water on the flames.

By mid-afternoon, Boyd said wind was blowing the fire from west to east, away from any major structures.

“At this time, we are not threatening any structures or residents,” he said. “People should be aware and monitor, but stay clear of the area so we can work on the fire.”

Anchorage police are asking people to avoid the area, and have closed surrounding roadways. They underscored that people should also not be flying drones in the area, which interferes with the helicopter operations.

“The biggest thing right now is we’re just asking people to stay away from those areas,” said Corey Allen Young, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bronson.

fire trucks near mountains
A large brush fire ignited off Elmore and Dowling on Thursday, June 23, 2022, near Elmore Road and Dowling Road. (Icnacio Bautista)
a police car in the middle of the street
Police block traffic on Dowling Road as fire crews respond to a large brush fire nearby on Thursday, March 23, 2022. (Valerie Kern/Alaska Public Media)

Fire officials don’t yet know what caused the fire. Smoke from the fire was visible in much of the city this afternoon.

The new blaze in Anchorage comes as the state of Alaska entered its second highest level of fire preparedness on Wednesday, based on the high number of wildfires burning statewide. The city on Thursday also banned open fires, citing “very high fire danger” in Anchorage’s hot and dry weather.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.