Funny River Fire update: 183,294 acres with 30% containment

10:45 am May 28, 2014

All remaining evacuation advisories have been lifted for areas near the fire.

Cooler, damper weather moderated fire activity on Tuesday which allowed firefighters to switch from defense to offence for the first time since the Funny River Fire started nine days ago. Crews reinforced the containment lines on the west side of the fire in the Kasilof and Sterling Highway areas, and in the Funny River Road area. Progress was made with containment line on the north side of Torpedo Lake on the north side of the Kenai River. Overall fire containment is now 30 percent, with 713 firefighters working to keep the fire away from populated areas.

The evacuation order along the Funny River Road was cancelled yesterday and most residents returned to their homes. All remaining evacuation advisories have been lifted. The Lower Skilak Lake Campground remains closed until further notice.

Five structures were confirmed as lost to the fire. The owners were notified by the Kenai Peninsula Borough. These structures include one outbuilding (the main structure was saved), and four recreation cabins with limited access.

A community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Funny River Community Center to share information with affected residents and answer questions.

The fire received .04 inches of rain overnight. The weather forecast is calling for continued rain throughout the day and additional heavier precipitation later in the week. Several consecutive days of heavier rain are needed to alter the overall fire activity. Residents should not be surprised to see smoke from inside the perimeter of the fire into the summer.

The light rain over the last 36 hours has slightly moderated the extremely dry conditions on the Kenai Peninsula. Residents and visitors are urged to continue to use extreme caution with anything that could ignite a fire. Visitors and area residents are reminded that fire crews, air and ground equipment are working in the areas of the Sterling Highway and Funny River Road.

Daily advisories on smoke conditions are available from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation at http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Services has set up a call line to help homeowners with fire preparedness. Residents can call (907) 714-2495. Information is available at http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us/emergency-mgmt/fire

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About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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