JBER firefighters protect Clear Space Force Station, local towns

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Julie Lebens
  • JBER Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Firefighters from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, deployed to Clear Space Force Station to protect the installation and local town of Anderson from active wildfires.

The Anderson Complex was established July 29, 2023, in order to manage multiple fires near the city of Anderson as well as Clear Space Force Station. Firefighters from the JBER Fire and Emergency Services Flight, the JBER Wildland Support Module, and the 176th Air National Guard, worked to create a barrier protecting the town and installation from fires. Additionally, firefighters worked to fight fires started by lightning and sparks spread by gusts of wind that threatened vital infrastructure along the Parks Highway such as the Alaska Railroad and high-voltage electrical transmission lines connecting a major power generation facility in Healey to the city of Fairbanks.

“It was important that we were there because we were able to fortify the areas around Clear SFS and Anderson from current and future wild-land fires,” said Senior Airman Brett Moore, a driver and operator assigned to JBER Fire and Emergency Services, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron. “The fuel breaks we created can be maintained and added onto in the future to protect the area for years to come.”

Aided by the Kenai Fire Department, McKinley Fire Department, and the Anderson Volunteer Fire Department, JBER firefighters created a barrier around Anderson and improved barriers around Clear SFS.

“Wildland firefighting in Alaska is a partnership with the local community,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jeremy Oldham, the 673d Civil Engineer Group commander. “This year has been especially demanding on firefighting personnel and resources throughout the country, and JBER firefighters stepped up to protect the people and mission at Clear SFS as well as the surrounding community.”

In addition to partnering with the local community to provide protection for military assets and Alaska residents, many JBER firefighters had little experience fighting wildfires and refined their craft in order to continue their important work.

“They demonstrated service before self by placing themselves in harm’s way and sacrificing time away from loved ones to protect lives and resources,” said Oldham. “I am proud of them.”