McKinley Fire Update: 09-10-19

McKinley Fire cleanup, photo credit Mike McMillian

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

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

Suppression efforts are nearly complete as firefighters continue steady progress removing hazard trees and extinguishing pockets of burning duff 100 feet around structures.  Remaining work is mostly located in Yancey East and West areas of the fire. 

Crews worked closely with local resource advisors to conduct repair work on suppression firelines in the southern part of the fire.  Today repair work will occur throughout the fire area. Efforts will be focused on completing as much repair as possible so that a smaller Type 3 local incident management  team can successfully assume command of the fire this coming weekend. Firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the area as well.

Total resource numbers assigned to the fire continue to decline, from a maximum of 560,  as crews demobilize from the incident as their tour comes to an end.

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/

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 4-11 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The center will be closing 9/11 at 2:00pm.

Smoke forecasts can be found at:   www.wildlandfiresmoke.net

The Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the McKinley Fire has been lifted.

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