Firefighters are continuing to construct containment line and mop up hot spots on the Kobe Fire south of the Denali Borough community of Anderson.
Smoke in the area dissipated on Saturday and aircraft were able to perform a reconnaissance flight of the fire area. The fire was mapped at an estimated 1,135 acres, a slight decrease from the previous estimate of 1,200 acres, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry. Containment on the fire remains at 0 percent.
Evacuation levels were lowered for the Kobe Ag and Anderson subdivisions from a “Level 2: Set” to a “Level 1: Ready” on Saturday and the “Level 1: Ready” evacuation notice for the town of Anderson was lifted. A “Level 1: Ready” notice means that people should be aware there is a threat in the area and to begin assembling needed items for a potential evacuation.
There was minimal fire spread on Saturday as firefighters continued to build and plumb containment lines around the fire perimeter. They will be doing more of the same today and should have dozer and saw line cut around the entire perimeter by the end of shift today. Crews are also mopping up hot spots and working to suppress smoldering dozer berms in the interior of the fire. Personnel and equipment from the Anderson and Nenana volunteer fire departments are assisting with suppression efforts. There were a total of 153 personnel working on the fire as of Saturday morning.
The Kobe Fire started Thursday evening and grew rapidly, forcing the evacuation of two remote subdivisions west of the Parks Highway near Mile 275, about 85 miles south of Fairbanks. Rain moved into the area late Thursday night and Friday, calming fire behavior and allowing firefighters to take a stand to halt the spread of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Bulldozers were used to carve out a containment line around the fire the past two days and firefighters have set up pumps and hose along that control line to provide a water supply to mop up any hotspots that are found on either side of the line.
An evacuation shelter has been set up at the Tri-Valley School in Healy. A call center has been set up at the Denali Borough and the number is 907-683-1330.