State forestry battling two wildfires on Kenai Peninsula; one in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and one near Homer

The Alaska Division of Forestry is responding to two wildfires burning on the Kenai Peninsula.

The East Fork Fire burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 5 miles north of the Sterling Highway. Jason Jordet/Alaska DNR-Division of Forestry

The East Fork Fire was reported at 6:25 p.m. and is burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 5-6 miles north of the Sterling Highway. The last size estimate on the fire was 150 acres and the fire is moving farther into the refuge, away from the highway. The fire is in a limited protection area and the Division of Forestry is coordinating with refuge personnel to determine what action to take on the fire.

Smokejumpers are en route to the fire and will be working on the south and west flanks of the fire when they land in an effort to keep the fire north of the East Fork Moose River. A helitack crew from the Kenai/Kodiak Area forestry office will also be inserted to assist with suppression efforts on the ground. An air tanker will be making water drops to assist firefighters on the ground.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

The other fire is in the Homer area off Wilderness Way at approximately mile 9.5 mile East End Road. The fire was reported at 7:30 p.m. and was approximately one-half acre.

The Wilderness Fire near Mile 9.5 East End Road in Homer. Firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry and Kachemak Bay Emergency Services are responding to the one-half acre fire. Jason Jordet/Alaska DNR-Division of Forestry

Forestry firefighters are working with firefighters from Kachemak Bay Emergency Services to suppress the fire. The fire was initially threatening nearby structures but an air tanker made three partial retardant drops to help firefighters secure a line around the fire. The fire is burning in grass and mixed hardwoods.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

For more information contact Tim Mowry, public information officer for the Alaska Division of Forestry at 907-356-5512.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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