Feeding firefighters in Alaska takes a large team, lots of food

by Alaska Wildland Fire Information

July 13, 2022: The Lime Complex consists of two staffed fires and sixteen unstaffed fires. The total size of the combined fires is 865,620 acres, and there are 150 resources assigned to the complex, an area covering 21 million acres. Each of these fires was caused by lightning. We continue to monitor unstaffed fires for growth and potential threats to identified values.

Highlights: It takes a large, efficient team to care for and feed all the firefighters in the field. While crews typically eat MREs (Meals Ready to Eat, prepackaged preserved meals) for the first 2-3 days on a fire, they are provided with fresh food boxes afterward whenever possible.

Since the creation of the Lime Complex on June 14, the teams have flown 230 fresh food boxes containing all the major food groups, plus numerous “comfort food” items, to the different fire camps around the vast expanse of the complex.

Of the 230 boxes, 149 were type A, meant to feed two people for three days, and 81 were type B, meant to feed four people for three days. Here are just a few examples of exactly how much food has been delivered: 622 steaks; 149 pounds of bacon; 3,576 potatoes; 1,490 oranges; 149 pounds of fresh carrots; 1,490 tortillas; 304.5 pounds of cheese; 690 loaves of bread; 149 jars of peanut butter and 149 jars of jelly; 2,462 packets of hot chocolate mix; and 1,869 candy bars.

Weather/Fire behavior: Mostly cloudy skies are expected today as an area low pressure system moves across northern Alaska and a cold front approaches the complex. Scattered showers are expected. Temperatures will rise into the mid to upper 60s, while relative humidity should hold in the 55-65% range. Winds will be out of the south to west averaging 4-9 mph. Fire behavior/growth should be low today and for the next two to three days.