McKinley Fire Live Evening Update September 2, 2019

Live – #McKinleyFire evening update from Incident Command Post weather and fire behavior updates. Containment is 95% and size is 3,288 acres. Fire information: 907-313-9826

Firefighters’ work has brought the containment level to 95% securing most of the fire perimeter; however, the interior contains trees that fell randomly during and after the fire in “jackpot piles” that are lying on hot ash pits and hold potential for flare ups. Recent precipitation has not been enough to combat the record setting dry duff layer and fire is still carrying in the forest floor. Crews are working cautiously to mop up deep ash pits and avoid falling trees. There have been several injuries from burns and falling trees affecting firefighters and residents. A structure group is assessing areas around homes for hazards. Additional crews and heavy equipment are focused on reducing hazard trees along roadways and around structures creating a safer area around homes but trees in the fire will continue to be a hazard moving forward and residents should take extra caution in these areas. A night shift is still in place on the fire to monitor any flare ups and continue mop up.

Winds will become gusty around 1:00 PM and last through the evening increasing the potential for falling trees. Scattered light rain and mild temperatures are expected to continue through the week.

This morning Monday, September 2 at 7:00 AM the Northern Rockies Interagency Incident Management Team 7 took command of the fire. 

All power is restored to the area and any residents experiencing issues should call the Matanuska Electric Association. On Tuesday, September 3, all normal school bus stops will resume in the Willow area. Residences from milepost 81.5 to 92 of the Parks Highway are still in evacuation “Level 1-Ready”. The fire in this area is controlled but the threat of ash pits and falling timber continues to be a hazard. Residents should be diligent about keeping a high level of awareness in burned areas. The Parks Highway speed limit remains 45 mph.

An emergency burn closure remains in effect for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. All burning, including campfires, charcoal grills, campfires in fire pits or rings in designated campgrounds is prohibited. This burn closure exists in the Kenai Peninsula as well.

Closures: A portion of Willow Swamp (Game Management Unit 14A) is closed due to the Deshka Landing Fire. For more info, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is still in effect over the McKinley Fire. 

Disaster Assistance: There are several agencies with information on disaster assistance; please visit this link for detailed contact information.

Disaster Assistance Information

Matanuska Electric Association: 907-761-9300 or visit www.mea.coop

State of Alaska Homeland Security Disaster Assistance: ready.alaska.gov or call 907-428-7000

Alaska Red Cross: 907-764-2407

The Parks Highway: Road updates available at 511.alaska.gov

Matanuska Susitna Borough: Debris information 907-861-7600

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation: (ADEC) Air quality, drinking water, food safety and sanitation, wastewater, solid waste, and hazardous substances. Reach the ADEC Disaster Coordination Team at 907-269-4198

Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) Donations for fire-impacted residents. They have locations in Big Lake, Wasilla, Talkeetna, and Willow. 907-745-5827 

Team Rubicon can provide assistance with debris removal and clean up. Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. 360-975-7944

#akwildfire#alaskawildfire#dnrwildfire#msbem

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