Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) employees work together with the Snake River Valley #3 crew from Oregon to clear fallen trees from the McKinley fire. Restoring power is a top priority but is time consuming as trees fell during the fire in “jack straw” piles and on top of heat. Crews must untangle the piles cutting, finding the heat and putting it out while MEA replaces poles and fixes lines.
McKinley Fire is at 67% containment as 565 firefighters work both day and night shifts. This is the “Breaking it Down” session where we address your questions and work to meet your information needs. Share this feed and ask your questions here. All Level 3’s were reduced today at noon and we understand that several evacuees were waiting another day to return home. We appreciate your caution as ash pits, falling fire weakened trees, flare ups and smoldering debris will remain as problems and dangers for many weeks. The earliest chance of rain is predicted for Sunday, and school begins tomorrow. The school bus route will not include the 19 stops within the fire area so that students are not exposed to the dangers.
Please be advised, recently burned areas are very dangerous. Fire burns deeply in extremely dry duff layers and has weakened many trees that continue falling unexpectedly. Ash pits have caused minor burn injuries to firefighters. Ash pits are deep holes in the ground filled with hot ash and embers and are often hard to see. These conditions create a very dangerous environment for firefighters and residents.
Air Quality/Smoke: For air quality information related to wildfires, visit https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/.
Fire Information: 907-313-9826
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Categories: AK Fire Info