Officials give positive prognosis to wildfire near Anchorage

ANCHORAGE — Though the wildfire near Alaska’s largest city was only 15 percent contained as of Saturday, fire officials have given a positive prognosis to the blaze.

Incident commander Tom Kurth on Saturday said favorable weather this week should not promote growth of the fire near Anchorage and parts of the fire could be considered confined, or unable to progress, KTVA-TV reported. Rain over the weekend and cooler temperatures have aided firefighting efforts and after the rain stops fire-spreading weather such as high temperatures, low humidity and winds are not expected.

“Our prognosis is going to be very positive, and the perimeter that you see there has very little chance of moving,” Kurth said. “We’ll begin to see what we can do about actual containment there, but I think the residents of Alaska, of Anchorage here, can rest easy about the further spread of this fire.”

The fire was sparked July 16 near cliffs overlooking the Seward Highway, the only road leading south of town, and has since burned about 1 ½ square miles. There has been no growth in the fire since Wednesday.

Kurth says the biggest safety concern in connection to the fire is traffic along the Seward Highway. The speed limit has been lowered near the fire and turnouts are closed.

Officials have said the fire was likely human-caused, noting the area is heavily used for recreation, but the cause is still under investigation. The fire has been burning in an area that includes a steep hiking trail in Chugach State Park.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 15

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, April 15, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Juneau’s Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 5600 Tonsgurd Court. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Recycleworks stops accepting dropoffs temporarily due to equipment failure

Manager of city facility hopes operations can resume by early next week

People staying at the city’s cold weather emergency shelter during its final night of operation board a bus bound for the Glory Hall and other locations in town early Tuesday morning. In the background are tour buses that a company says were broken into and damaged during the winter by people staying at the shelter, and one of the first cruise ships of the season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau’s homeless head outdoors with no official place to camp as warming shelter closes for season

“Everybody’s frantic. They’re probably all going to be sleeping on the streets by the stores again.”

The Anchorage band Big Chimney Barn Dance performs in the main ballroom of Centennial Hall on Sunday night near the end of the 49th Annual Alaska Folk Festival. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
49th annual Alaska Folk Festival ends with promise of an ‘epic’ 50th

Weeklong event remains free after nearly a half-century “which is unheard of,” board president says.

Students leave the Marie Drake Building, which houses local alternative education offerings including the HomeBRIDGE correspondence program, on April 4. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Educators and lawmakers trying to determine impacts, next steps of ruling denying state funds for homeschoolers

“Everybody wants to make sure there’s a way to continue supporting homeschool families,” Kiehl says.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, April 14, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

TJ Beers holds a sign to advocate for the rights of people experiencing homelessness outside the state Capitol on April 9. Beers was homeless for four years and in three states. “I don’t know how I survived,” he said. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Lawmakers weigh whether to reduce or acknowledge rights of growing Alaska homeless population

As cities try to house people, Dunleavy’s protest bill would further criminalize them, advocates say.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, April 13, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read