Bearded Brothers: Tight-knit crew fights fires in Alaska and beyond

  • Source: Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman
  • Published: 10/09/2018 01:42 AM

A group of bearded buddies walk into the woods. This is not a cause for fear, but actually a service to public safety. Now that fall has come and nearly gone, the Gannett Glacier Fire Crew has returned home from their long fire season protecting wildlands in Alaska and the Lower 48. A band of 22 brothers walked into the woods to fight fires this spring, and walked out safely. A typical fire season starts in April with a handful of new hires. Gannett Glacier Assistant Superintendent Jered Kemp says they will receive somewhere around 100 applications for four or five spots. If they can meet the rigorous physical standards of becoming a wildland firefighter, they shake the rust off by doing prescribed burns of grass on JBER. As the summer begins, grass fires in the Valley need attention and give way to hotter forest fires in the interior.


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