Officials still assessing damage of wind-driven Interior wildfire



Stop sign at intersection
The smoke from the park highway to the entrance to the Kobe sub-section remained. (Alaska Enterprise Coordination Center)

Firefighters did not say much about the structures that were destroyed or damaged by the wind on Wednesday evening.

Flame moved north of Kobe Road, south of the Parks Highway, inland to Alaskan communities and clear.

At a community meeting on Thursday night, the commander of the disaster, al-Lawson, was asked how many structures had been burned.

“We want to know,” Lawson said. “The fire broke out last night and we are still assessing the number of structures there, and we have a field observer on how to do this, looking at the burned area and the damage to those places and degrees there. The last thing we want to do is give the wrong information, right? ”

The blaze on Wednesday prompted residents of nearby subdivisions to evacuate if they did not leave. Evacuation orders were issued at the end of June for people living in 45 homes in the area. The number of homes updated under the order was not immediately available on Thursday.

Some residents did not listen to the evacuation order, which complicated the work of firefighters, said Duan Van Wort, head of the fire department.

Denali Boro Mayor Clay Walker described the area as sparsely populated – “with strong-minded, strong-willed people. It takes strength to live and work in that environment. It can be a difficult place to reach.

Residents of Anderson, 80 miles southwest of Ferbanx, were told to pack their bags if they wanted to vacate an open space station.

Related: A wildfire in southwestern Alaska caused severe damage to a public mine site

Lawson’s burnt area is dangerous.

“It’s still fresh,” Lawson said. “The trees are still falling, so we will wait until it is safe to put firefighters in there and then we will go out and assess what the fire looks like and how many have been burned.”

Lawson did not give a timeline for reviewing and releasing the information, but stressed that no one was killed or injured during the worst fire incident.

“For me, at the end of the day, I’m bringing everyone back to camp and making sure people are safe,” he said. “And we achieved that.”

According to Fire Owenbei, a fire analyst, the fire broke out late Thursday and reactivated.

“The south wind is clearing that air, feeding the fire and helping it grow,” he said.

According to Owenbe, the weather is forecast to be hot and dry, but relative humidity is expected to increase over the weekend, increasing the risk of thunderstorms.

The blaze is Alaska’s top priority, with about 500 firefighters deployed. According to Air Operations Manager Dennis Morton, a Chinok helicopter is coming to increase its waterfall capacity.

“He has to be here in two days and we will put that plane away from me,” he said. And that comes with a 3,000-gallon bucket, so that really helps.

The blaze, which erupted in late June, burned more than 61,000 acres[8,000 ha]and contained 8 percent. It is one of more than 235 active wildfires in the state. This year, more than 4,062 square miles, or more than 2 1/2 times more than in Rhode Island, have caught fire.



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