McKinley Fire Final Slideshow: Management Back to Palmer Forestry Thursday 26, 2019

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The McKinley Fire started near Milepost 91 of the Parks Highway on Aug. 17, 2019. 52 primary residences, 3 commercial structures and 84 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire by the evening of Aug. 18 and morning of the 19th. The Alaska Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal, and Alaska State Troopers, Mat-Su Borough, and the Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COADs) have been working with the Alaska Division of Forestry and Matanuska-Susitna Borough to assist the communities in dealing with effects of the fire. All residents are encouraged to remain extremely vigilant for ash pits and falling trees when walking in the fire area. 

One of the main “watch out” situations is for alignments of downed fuels or stacked/buried 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. Recent amounts of rainfall have been increasing and are certainly helping. However, there has not been quite enough accumulated rainfall to penetrate fully into the deeper duff layer, which means that areas that have been burning deeply remain mostly protected from the rain. 

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.  

All power is restored to the area and any residents experiencing issues should call the Matanuska Electric Association. 

Disaster Assistance: There are several agencies with information on disaster assistance; please visit Alaska Wildland Fire Information: for detailed contact information. 

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

Credit: Public Information Officer Kale Casey Alaska IMT/DNR

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McKinley Fire, Deshka Fire, Alaska Wildfires, Wildfires 2019, Willow Alaska, DOF Wildfires, BLM Alaska, AK Fire Info, Mat-Su Wildfire

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