Sockeye Fire update, July 9

Fire Information: George Coyle
Division of Forestry (907) 761-6233
(907) 982-0049

Fire Status

Acres Burned: 7220
Cause: Human – Under investigation
Structures Destroyed – 55
Restrictions: The suspension on Burn Permits in Mat-Su Area was lifted on 7-8-15. Burn Bans in the Mat-Su Boro, City of Houston and Municipality of Anchorage have been lifted.

Resources

Incident Commander: Kevin Menkens, Alaska Division of Forestry

Crews: 1
Personnel: 22

Incident Summary: 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: Temperatures today were in the mid to upper 60’s and RH in the 40’s. Southerly winds have produced drying conditions. Some smokes and heat developed within 300 feet of structures which the crew has extinguished. The helitak crew on 2NP secured a spot that was reported by a private helicopter yesterday. Suppression/mop-up efforts continue to be concentrated on the eastern side of the fire to ensure the safety of structures and along the berms.

Burn Restrictions: The suspension on burn permits was lifted on Wednesday, 7-8-15. Permit 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.
The burn ban on Matanuska-Susitna Borough public lands has been lifted. This includes the City of Houston. Campfires and warming fires are now allowed in Borough parks. Read the list of parks at: http://www.matsugov.us/news/campfire-ban-lifted-on-borough-land

In the Municipality of Anchorage: Burning is allowed today after 12 noon with a valid residential spruce bark beetle kill permit only. Watch the wind if it gets over 10mph you must stop burning.
Contained fires in constructed backyard fire pits, chimineas, or barbeques (Gas, electric, charcoal) are allowed. Such devices should be at least 10 feet away from structures or overhangs, and must be attended at all times by a responsible adult. Please call the burn hotline for the daily burning restriction update after 9:00 AM at 267-5020. Contact AFD’s Forester if you have questions at 267-4902 or AFD Administration at 267-5091.

At this time, the Fireworks Stands in Houston are still closed to Retail Sales until further notice. This is a decision by the City of Houston. The use of fireworks is prohibited in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Fireworks are not legal within the Municipality of Anchorage.

Weather Outlook: Tonight – Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. South wind around 5 mph.
Friday – Partly sunny, with a high near 71. Calm wind.
Friday Night – Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph.
Saturday – A 40 percent chance of rain after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Injuries: 4

Road Closures: None noted.

Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, City of Houston, and Municipality of Anchorage.

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