Update: July 7, 2015
Fire Information: George Coyle
Division of Forestry (907) 761-6233
Acres Burned: 7220
Cause: Human – Under investigation
Structures Destroyed – 55
Closures: Burn Permits in Mat-Su Area are suspended. Open fires banned on Mat-Su Borough Lands. A burn ban/closure is in effect for the Municipality of Anchorage
Incident Commander: Kevin Menkens, Alaska Division of Forestry
The Sockeye fire began on Sunday June 14, 2015 six miles north of Willow on private property. The fire spread south across the Little Willow and Willow Creeks and east across the Parks Highway and Alaska Railroad tracks eventually destroying 55 homes and cabins along with numerous out buildings. The fire is currently managed at the Type 4 level. It has burned 7,220 acres and full containment is expected on July 9. There have been 4 injuries on the fire.
Current Situation: ICP has moved to Willow FD which is adjacent to the Willow Community Center. Light rain occurred overnight on the fire. Total precipitation was minimal but cooler temperatures and the higher RH readings are aiding suppression and containment efforts. An IR flight took place this morning over the fire. Several areas of heat were indicated around structures and in the berms located in the neighborhoods. Two engine crews assisted the fire patrolling, detecting smokes and extinguishing located hot spots.
Burn Restrictions: The burn ban on Matanuska-Susitna Borough public lands remains in effect. All open fires including camp fires, bonfires, and trash fires are banned on Borough lands.
Burn permits for all open burning are still suspended. Permits holders should call 907-761-6312 for updated information. Campfires, charcoal BBQ’s, warming, and cooking fires are now allowed on private property. Most State campgrounds now allow camp fires in established fire rings or grates. Check the local situation before starting a fire.
A burn ban/closure is in effect for the Municipality of Anchorage, issued by the Anchorage fire chief. The only devices permitted today are fully enclosed electric, charcoal or propane barbecue grills and fish smokers. Charcoal grills are now permitted. Please extinguish charcoal briquets in a bucket of water. Burn permits are suspended until further notice.
The use of fireworks is prohibited in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Fireworks are not legal within the Municipality of Anchorage.
Weather Outlook: Tonight –A chance of rain before 7pm, then scattered showers after 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Wednesday – Scattered showers, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. Southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Wednesday Night – Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49. South wind around 5 mph.
Thursday – Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
Closures: None noted.
Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, City of Houston, Municipality of Anchorage.