A very small portion of the Card Street Fire on the Kenai Peninsula is under control, and the evacuation notice for a few neighborhoods has been lifted. The fires continue to move east into the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and away from residential areas.
“Everyday it’s getting more and more contained,” says Terry Anderson, A public information officer for the Division of Forestry. He’s been giving regular updates over lunch at the Sterling Community Center and Thursday there was finally some good news.
In some of the neighborhoods that were evacuated, crews are working on the smaller spot fires, and people can finally get back to their homes, at least for now.
“There’s a whole division of guys that work on that all day long and they grid it. They walk back and forth and back and forth and yeah, you can miss it, but it’s rare because that’s what they’re doing on a daily basis,” he says.
In all, more than 250 firefighters are working the Card Street Fire. It’s currently the top priority fire in the country. Crews caught a break Wednesday night as the wind pushed the now 9,000-acre fire into the wilderness of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. But Refuge Fire Management Officer Kristi Bulock says this is not a situation where they
want to simply let the fire burn itself out.
“This is an unwanted fire,” Bulock says. “This fire has the potential; if it crosses the Sterling Highway with the right conditions it could actually come back into the north side of Sterling, and we absolutely do not want that to happen. The goal is to stop the fire. There’s just too much risk to communities.”