Update: July 10, 2015
Fire Information: George Coyle
Division of Forestry (907) 761-6233
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.
Incident Commander: Kevin Menkens, Alaska Division of Forestry
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. The fire was contained on July 10. There have been 4 injuries on the fire.
Current Situation: Temperatures today were in the mid 70’s and RH in the 40’s. Crew continues to work hot spots around structures and berms. An IR flight is scheduled for tomorrow morning, July 11. The Mat-Su crew will also demobe tomorrow. Two engine crews will remain on the fire over the weekend. The IC plans to call the fire contained by the end of shift tonight.
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 – A 20 percent chance of showers after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming southeast after midnight.
Saturday – A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
Saturday Night – A 30 percent chance of showers after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. South wind around 10 mph.
Sunday – A 40 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 69. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning.
Road Closures: None noted.
Cooperating Agencies: Alaska Division of Forestry, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, City of Houston, and Municipality of Anchorage.