McKinley Fire Daily Update September 13 2019 – 7:30am

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.

Containment: 95% Personnel: 184 Acreage: 3,288

The Northern Rockies Team 7, Type 2 Incident Management Team, is transitioning with a smaller, local Type 3 Management Team.  Transfer of command will occur Saturday, September 14 at 7:00 a.m. 

Masticator on the McKinley Fire
Masticator on the McKinley Fire. Photo credit: Kale Casey/Alaska DNR Division of Forestry

While the majority of the McKinley fire area is in patrol and monitor status, firefighters are still encountering previously undetected areas of heat and smokes are still visible from time to time.  Engine crews will continue to extinguish these scattered pockets of heat held deep in the duff.  Disposal of brush and slash piles along the Parks Highway and Mat-Su Borough right-of-ways will continue as the woody debris is chipped and ground using equipment such as chippers and masticators.  One crew, the Chena Hot Shots, multiple engines, and heavy equipment will stay through the transition to continue with mop up along roadways and within 100-feet of structures.  

Closeup of the masticator working along the DOT and Mat-Su Borough easements. Photo credit: Kale Casey/Alaska DNR Division of Forestry
Closeup of the masticator working along the DOT and Mat-Su Borough easements. Photo credit: Kale Casey/Alaska DNR Division of Forestry

Log decks along the Parks Highway have been moved back to the treeline.  Please respect private property and do NOT cut wood on private property unless you have owner permission.

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.

Image of the Sept 13 2019 update posted around the communities of Willow, Caswell and Talkeetna, Alaska.

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.

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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