TYPE 2 TEAM
Rob Allen, INCIDENT COMMANDER
PHONE: (907) 714-2484
May 22, 2014
FUNNY RIVER FIRE UPDATE
Funny River Fire Grows to 44,423 acres, Public Meetings Scheduled for Tonight
Firefighters continued working through the night to contain the Funny River Fire. The Funny River Fire has burned 44,423 acres within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. It is five percent contained. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team will hold two public meetings tonight.
The first will be held at 6 p.m. at Tustumena Elementary School, 58231 Sterling Highway, Kasilof
and the second will be held at 8 p.m. at the Funny River Community Center, 35850 Pioneer Access Road, Soldotna.
Fire managers and emergency operations officials will discuss the firefighting efforts and public safety and will take questions.
Crews have made good progress in corralling the fire on the northwest corner by creating a dozer line. The arrival of water-scooping aircraft today will help reinforce efforts to contain the southwest flank of the fire and protect the community of Kasilof. The fire is approximately 4 miles from the Kasilof River and 3.5 miles east of the Pollard Subdivision. Firefighters will also continue work today on the northwest corner, where they worked overnight burning out vegetation to protect Funny River Road residents. The fire is 3 miles from the water accessible only Bear Creek Subdivision and a crew of firefighters are headed to the subdivision today. The arrival of additional crews today is expected to help the Alaska Type II Incident Management Team make progress on containing the blaze.
Residents in the area should expect to see increased air traffic related to the fire. A Temporary Flight Restriction remains in effect over the fire area.
The fire continues to send heavy smoke over the Kenai Peninsula and other parts of Southcentral Alaska. An Air Quality Advisory remains in effect.
Information about smoke is available from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation at http://dec.alaska.gov/air/am/smoke.htm
Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Services has set up a call line to help homeowners with fire preparedness. Residents can call (907) 714-2495.
Central Emergency Services is urging residents who live near the fire to stay aware and be prepared. Information is available at http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us/emergency-mgmt/fire
Vegetation remains extremely dry on the Kenai Peninsula. Residents and visitors are urged to use extreme caution with anything that could ignite a fire.