Red Flag Warnings in Effect for the Sockeye Fire Area, Media Availability at 2 p.m.

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Houston, Alaska – Fire crews fighting the Sockeye Fire are facing continued hot, dry conditions again today and that’s likely to mean continued extreme fire behavior. The fire, burning north of Willow, saw moderate growth to the west, north, and south Monday and is now estimated at 7,512 acres. Red Flag Warnings are in effect today for high winds, high temperatures, low humidity and dry lightning.

Evacuations remain in effect for areas threatened by the fire. Information about evacuations and about highway traffic is available through the Matanuska-Susitna Borough at 907-861-8326. A recorded message is also available at 761-3700

Traffic is moving on the Parks Highway with the aid of pilot cars from Mile 66.5 through Mile 88. Motorists should be prepared for extensive delays of the highway, depending on fire activity.

The Alaska Interagency Type 1 Incident Management Team (Incident Commander Tom Kurth) assumed management of the fire at 7 a.m. today. The presence of the team brings additional resources to fight the fire, including aviation assets and ground crews from Alaska and the Lower 48. In addition, the team provides planning and logistical support for the firefighters.

Yesterday, after a tour of the fire area, Governor Bill Walker declared a state disaster in response to widespread damage from the Sockeye Fire.

Pilors are reminded that a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fire area.  Additional information about the TFR can be found at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.jsp.

SOCKEYE FIRE MEDIA ADVISORY

Houston, Alaska – The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, at the Houston High School, 12501 W. Hawk Lane, Houston.

Information about the fire can be found online at:

Fire Information: The Incident Command Post is located at the Houston High School. The public is welcome to visit or call for information about the fire. For a statewide perspective on the current fire situation visit the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center website at http://fire.ak.blm.gov or call Fire Information at (907) 892-9413.

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