The Funny River fire has grown to more than 182,200 acres.
After a streak of warm, dry weather, firefighters are seeing a break in the weather, with rain falling Tuesday during the early morning hours and temperatures in the 50s.
“The rain that fell this morning was enough to knock the fire down, but certainly not enough to put it out,” Rob Allen, the incident commander for the Funny River fire, said.
Officials say the weather pattern should hold for at least the next couple days.
“We’re gonna see waves of precipitation as they move up through Cook Inlet on up into our area and then up into the Mat-Su Valley,” Scott Berg, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said. “That should help quite a bit with kinda keeping everything calmed down.”
Allen says there has been enough rain to dampen the grass, which should keep the fire from spotting and creeping ahead. But, it will take quite a bit more rain to affect the black spruce, which has been one of the fire’s main fuels.
“Normally we look at three days of good rain in a row,” Allen said. “Any time you get a break in that and there’s some sun that comes out, the grasses will dry incredibly fast, the rest of the fine fuels will dry really fast, and then you’re back over starting at square one.”
So far, five structures have been lost in the fire – one outbuilding and four recreational cabins. None of the structures were accessible by road.
There are currently 689 personnel working on the fire.
Evacuation advisories have been lifted for Kasilof and the Kenai Keys subdivision.
- The state is granting nearly $300,000 to improve water quality in some of Alaska's most damaged watersheds, including Juneau's orange-tinted Duck Creek.
- More than a third of all the penalties imposed since 1976 were logged last year.
- "You know, we're not talking about some smoky, old wood stove here. We’re talking about high-tech equipment," said Daniel Parrent, a program manager at the U.S. Forest Service.
- "Did you think that ganging together seven different taxes would make it more likely or less likely that any would pass?” asked Eagle River Republican Rep. Dan Saddler.