Sockeye Fire now estimated at 6,500 acres

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12:30 a.m. , June 15 – The fast-moving Sockeye Fire, burning along the Parks Highway in the Willow area, is now estimated at 6,500 acres.  The evacuation area has been expanded to cover the area from Milepost 63 to 77, and from three miles east of the Parks Highway and west to the Susitna River.

The Parks Highway remains closed from Milepost 66 through 77.  The Alaska Division of Forestry, Department of Transportation, and Alaska State Troopers are working together to reopen the highway as quickly as possible.

The fire was reported shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday and grew quickly.  Due to continued hot, dry weather, extreme fire behavior is expected to continue Monday.

There is no estimate at this time of structures lost.  Emergency managers and firefighters are focused on the evacuation and saving homes and, as yet, there has not been a damage assessment.  Firefighters on the ground have been focused on protecting structures, while multiple aircraft from the Alaska Division of Forestry and Alaska Fire Service have been dropping water and retardant on the fire.

Additional firefighting resources have been ordered from the Lower 48, including 10 hotshot crews.  The Alaska Type 2 Black Team is mobilizing and will assume control of the fire.  The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has activated its Emergency Operations Center.  Residents can get information about the evacuation at 907-861-8500.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect over the fire area. Information about the TFR can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.

There is the potential for smoke impacts from the Sockeye Fire in the Mat-Su and Anchorage Monday morning.  Air quality advisories can be found at http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories

 

 

 

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