McKinley Fire Update: 09-09-19

Burn permit suspensions have been lifted for the Mat-Su Borough.  Burn barrels and open burning are allowed with a permit.    Details can be found at http://www.akfireinfo.com.

Please respect private property boundaries when gathering firewood along the Parks Highway.

Firefighters made good progress removing immediate hazards around the final 20% of properties where hazards have not yet been mitigated.  Yesterday’s rains have largely eliminated concerns of surface fire, but was not enough to soak deep and stop smoldering  in the duff layer.  

Pumps, hoses and water tanks were removed from areas where work has been completed and these “back-hauling” efforts will continue today.   All of this equipment is hauled to base camp, where hoses are rolled and shipped back to the National Interagency Fire Cache system where it will be refurbished and used on future incidents.

Today, excavators and hand crews will start work to repair dozer lines and hand lines created during suppression efforts.  These efforts will take place south of the Sheep Creek Lodges.

The number of firefighters will begin to drop as crews reach their maximum maximum allowed time on the fire.

All power is restored to the area and any residents experiencing issues should call the Matanuska Electric Association. Residences from milepost 81.5 to 92 of the Parks Highway are still in evacuation “Level 1-Ready.”  The Parks Highway speed limit remains 45 mph through the fire vicinity.

Extreme caution and a high level of awareness is urged for residents within the fire perimeter and woodcutters along the Parks Highway.  Deep pockets of burning organic material called ashpits, along with snags pose significant dangers to anyone inside the burn area. 

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 Alaska Wildland Fire Information: https://bit.ly/2lzpyZu for detailed contact information.

The Disaster Assistance Center will be open for fire survivors to register for the State of Alaska Individual Assistance at the following location: Willow United Methodist Church (29286 Parks Hwy) Willow, AK 99688 – September 4-18 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m

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