Updated at 11:22 a.m. Thursday The Funny River Horse Trail wildfire is up to 192,831 acres and 46 percent contained, according to the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team. Investigators have determined while the Funny River Horse Trail wildfire is human caused, it didn't start from an abandoned campfire.
Updated at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday: Rob Allen, incident commander with the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team said today's rain has helped firefighters, but crews need three days of steady precipitation for it to have a major impact on the Funny River Road wildfire.
A wall of dense smoke engulfed portions of the Kenai Peninsula Tuesday as a fire that started near the Funny River Horse Trail late Monday grew to consume more than 20,000 acres and stretch in a 10-mile line from Funny River Road to the shoreline of Tustumena Lake. Late Tuesday, the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team reported that new mapping indicated the fire had grown in size.
Updated at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday
Update: 12:20 p.m. The wildfire in Tyonek spread to 350 acres as of Tuesday morning but fire crews made progress in building a fire line on the flank close to the village as the wind-driven fire has moved west away from the threatened subdivision, according to the the Alaska Wildland Fire Information. Sarah Saarloos, information officer with the Mat-Su Division of Forestry, said as of Tuesday morning no structures have been lost and a new crew from Palmer has been sent back out to suppress the fire.
A drier than average April has elevated the potential for wildfires and Department of Forestry services across the state remain at the ready.
With just a few minutes notice, families in Funny River were evacuated Sunday afternoon as firefighters fought to contain the 156,041 acre wildfire that lit several hot spots inside of a fire break between the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and more than 1,000 residents. As flames encroached, the reaction was quick but chaotic as state forestry firefighters told Central Emergency Services firefighters that an evacuation was necessary and the information was relayed faster than the order could be clarified
Update at 2:17 a.m. Sunday An emergency evacuation order was issued and then lifted in a two-hour period late Friday into early Saturday as residents of a neighborhood about ten miles south of Soldotna reported a wall of flames near their homes.
It has been three days since the first report of a five acre wildfire on a horse trail off of Funny River Road. The blaze had consumed more than 44,000 acres as of Wednesday - more than doubling in size in the span of 24 hours.
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas announced its annual Cook Inlet oil and gas lease sales will be held at 9 a.m. on May 7 in Anchorage.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.