East Fork Fire Community Open House Tonight

An open house will be held tonight at the Sterling Elementary School from 5-7pm.

Stop by this evening to talk with East Fork Fire personnel as well as local officials from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Alaska Division of Forestry, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Office of Emergency Management, Central Emergency Services and the Alaska State Troopers.

A picture of the East Fork Fire area with smoke on the Eastern and Southern perimeters on 6/25. Photo Credit: Adam Kohley

The warmer and drier weather over the weekend increased fire activity Sunday afternoon on the eastern and southern perimeters of the fire. Cloud cover and light rains are moving into the area this morning and are expected to moderate the fire activity once again. The lightning-caused 1,016-acre fire continues to burn in a limited protection area of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Although there were still 121 personnel assigned to the fire as of this morning, the demobilization process is happening quickly now. The White Mountain Type 2IA Crew, the North Star Type 2 Crew and the Chena Hotshots will be released today. At the end of today’s shift, 1 of the 2 remaining helicopters will be released as well.

Transition to a Type 4 organization will take place Tuesday at 7am. The Pioneer Peak Hotshots and some overhead will remain in the field to monitor the fire and finalize preparations on the fire breaks.

A picture of the fire activity and smoke on the southern perimeter of the East Fork Fire on 6/25. Photo Credit: Adam Kohley

A map marking the locations of all the pumps and equipment in place for a turnkey operation will play a key role in the ability for State Forestry to respond quickly if the fire picks back up and the proposed burnout operation is needed to protect the Sterling Highway and the community of Sterling. The public is asked to please steer clear of crews working in the area and all firefighting equipment that is in place.

The temporary flight restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fire. The TFR is designed to provide for the safety of fire-related aircraft operations. Pilots are urged to stay clear of the area and should check with the Federal Aviation Administration for NOTAM’s prior to departure. The most up to date TFR is available at http://tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html.

During these wet weather days, residents are encouraged to take steps on their own properties to reduce wildfire risk using tips found on the FireWise website: http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/firewise-toolkit.aspx.

For more information, contact Alaska Division of Forestry public information officer Celeste Prescott at 907-244-9376. Information about the fire is also being posted on akfireinfo.com, KPBOEM.blogspot.com and inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5250/.



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