Governor Dunleavy visits Chena Hot Springs to get briefing on Munson Creek Fire

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy visited the Munson Creek Fire on Friday to get a first-hand look at the 36,609-acre fire burning directly behind Chena Hot Springs Resort at the end of Chena Hot Springs Road.

The Governor received a briefing on the fire from Incident Commander Zane Brown with Fairbanks Area Forestry and also spoke with Resort owner Bernie Karl, who gave the Governor a quick ride in a UTV to check out two aurora viewing yurts that survived the fire, in large part due to the work of firefighters who cleared brush and conducted a burnout around the yurts to protect them.

The Governor asked about the size of the fire, how many personnel were assigned to it and what kind of weather was forecast. When told that temperatures were expected to rise into the high 70s within a few days with possible south/southwest winds, the Governor responded, “So it might kick it up again?”

“Very possible,” Brown told him, “but if that happens we’re ready for it.”

Governor Dunleavy praised firefighters for their hard work to help keep Alaskans safe and said he passed by some firefighters on the trail in the UTV enroute to the yurts.

“I appreciate everything you guys are doing,” Dunleavy told Brown. “I have a lot of respect for you guys.”

When Karl kidded that the Governor would make a good firefighter given tall stature and long stride, Dunleavy waved him off.

“I’m a little too old do that now,” he said. “It’s a tough racket.”

Categories: AK Fire Info

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