McKinley Fire Update: 09-12-19

Containment: 95% Personnel: 200 Acreage: 3,288   Start Date: 8/17/2019

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

Tree clean-up along Mat-Su Borough roads and Parks Highway corridor, photo David Day.
Tree clean-up along Mat-Su Borough roads and Parks Highway corridor, photo David Day.

The bulk of remaining work is focused on repair as the majority of the McKinley fire area is in patrol and monitor status. Firefighters will continue their work carefully locating and extinguishing scattered smokes that pop-up from the deep duff layer and securing fire weakened trees within 100-feet of structures. Crews are working along with heavy equipment to clear roadways of woody debris. A chipper will be utilized along steeper portions of the Parks Highway while a masticator will be used in other areas to address brush and slash piles.

Over the next several days log decks along the Parks Highway will be moved back to the treeline.  Please respect private property and do NOT cut wood on private property unless you have owner permission.  Clean-up will continue along public roadways within the Department of Transportation right-of-way and the Mat-Su Borough right-of-way.  

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.

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 www.akfireinfo.com.

Disaster Assistance: There are several agencies with information on disaster assistance; please visit Alaska Wildland Fire Information for detailed contact information: https://bit.ly/2lzpyZu

The Disaster Assistance Centers are now closed. Individuals affected by the McKinley Fire can register online at www.ready.alaska.gov. The deadline to apply for individual assistance is October 22, 2019.

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

Rescinded Closure (Deshka Landing Fire): The Willow Swamp area (Game Management Unit 14A) is open to the public effective at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11. This area was previously closed due to the Deshka Landing Fire.

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