The McKinley Fire (#738) is currently estimated at approximately 3,000 acres and the Alaska Division of Forestry is still working to contain active fire on both sides of the Parks Highway between miles 86 to 91.
The Parks Highway is currently open to one-lane traffic with pilot cars leading vehicles through the fire area from mileposts 71 to 99. There is zero visibility along the road in the fire area and motorists should expect long delays.
At least 50 structures have been lost and state forestry is working with the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office and Red Cross to assess damage and confirm the number of structures that have been lost. Due to public and firefighter safety, residents who have been evacuated are currently not being allowed back into the fire area.
State forestry is working with local fire departments to protect structures in the fire area. The Alaska National Guard and Alaska State Troopers are also assisting with traffic control and fire suppression efforts.
Additional resources from the Lower 48 are expected to arrive in Alaska today to assist with suppression efforts on the McKinley Fire and other fires burning in Southcentral Alaska. Ten hotshot crews, two air retardant tankers and four water-scooping aircraft have arrived or are enroute.
An evacuation order remains in effect along both sides of the highway from mileposts 82 to 91. Any residents in that area should leave their homes immediately. State forestry is working to develop trigger points for any additional evacuations south of the fire area.