FAIRBANKS – The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (BLM AFS) awarded three contracts for Type 2 wildland firefighting hand crews based in rural northeastern and Interior Alaska villages for the 2020 fire season. The contractors selected will base crews in the Upper Yukon and Tanana Fire Management Zones for quick response to fires within BLM AFS protection areas.
Unlike federal emergency firefighter (EFF) crews that are hired only on an as-needed basis, contracted crews allow for work outside of fire suppression, such as fuels mitigation and other funded projects. Contract crews may also provide more stable employment than the current EFF program. The contract crews will adhere to national qualifications for Type 2 hand crews and can be ordered for wildfire response in Alaska and the Lower 48.
The three contracts were awarded by region as follows:
- Upper Yukon Region: Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments with assembly points in Fort Yukon, Venetie and Arctic Village
- Lower Tanana Region: Capstone Fire & Safety Management with assembly points in Minto and Tanana
- Upper Koyukuk Region: S. E. S. Fire with assembly points in Huslia, Hughes and Allakaket
In light of the changing requirements for federal EFF, the contract crew concept intends to meet the need for Type 2 wildland firefighting crews available for response in Alaska and the Lower 48. The solicitation was a competitive process for qualified entities to ensure viable crews are available when called upon.
The contract crews will not be a part of the statewide federal/state Type 2 EFF crew rotation. The BLM AFS will continue to administer Type 2 EFF crews in regions in the Galena Fire Management Zone that covers Western Alaska where no contracts are awarded as long as enough qualified responders are available.
For more information regarding the contracts, contact BLM Contracting Officer Theresa Coffenberry at the National Operations Center at (303)236-5437 or email@example.com; or BLM AFS EFF Program Coordinator Hudson Plass at (907)356-5611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other inquiries, contact BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)388-2159 or email@example.com.