McKinley Fire Daily Update September 14 2019 – 9:30am – Alaskan Incident Commander Zane Brown Assumes Command

At 7:00 am on September 14, Alaskan Type 3 Incident Commander Zane Brown and his team assumed command of the fire with the goal of being the final team to bring closure to the ongoing tasks of suppression and repair. 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 Yancey West areas of the fire. 

Repair work on suppression firelines is nearly complete. Firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the area for hot spots, ash pits and other hazards involving the fire weakened trees and debris. 

McKinley Fire Daily Update Sept 14-16 2019

Recent amounts of rainfall have been not enough to penetrate fully into the deeper duff layer, which means that areas that have been burning deeply remain protected from the rain. All residents are encouraged to remain extremely vigilant for ash pits when walking in the fire area. 

Many of fire personnel remaining on the incident responded to the 2015 Sockeye Fire. Because these crews live and work in the area, they have recent experience that will help guide their work. One of the main “watch out” situations is for alignments of downed fuels or stacked berms that could create what firefighters call “holdovers”. In a burn area this large and with the burn so deep, to a certain degree a few “holdovers” of hidden heat in berms or ash pits are inevitable. The more work that is completed now, the fewer issues firefighters will have to address next spring.

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.  

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


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