Friday, 23 May 2014
Shaylon Cochran/KDLL and
The Funny River Fire that has been burning on the Kenai Peninsula since Monday grew to nearly 63,000 acres overnight, and smoke continues to fill the sky from Kasilof to Kodiak.
Dan Nelson, the Health and Safety Officer for Central Emergency Services in Soldotna, says the fire is only about five percent contained, but is not an immediate threat to life or property.
“What you’re seeing today, a little shift in action from a game plan and trying to get priorities set and figuring out what’s going on to an actual going out there and attacking the fire. We have over 150 people on the ground and numerous aircraft out there. The priorities have not changed. The priorities are still keep the fire away from the Funny River community and the Kasilof community.”
Incident commander Rob Allen says between 400 and 500 people are expected to be fighting the fire by the weekend.
A command center at Skyview High School in Soldotna, just a couple miles from where the blaze began.
At a community meeting in Kasilof last night many residents offered their own bulldozers and other heavy equipment to help fight the fire.
The western Kenai Peninsula is once again under a “Red Flag Warning,” issued by the National Weather Service, as winds are expected to pick up again today.
Just a reminder, conditions in Kodiak are also ideal for wildfire, with low humidity and no rain in the forecast until after the long holiday weekend, so exercise caution.