McKinley Fire is about 2,000 acres, Evacuation orders still in place, and one lane open on Parks Highway

Photo courtesy Robert Sheldon
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ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - The Alaska Division of Forestry says the estimated size of the McKinley Fire is about 2,000 acres.

DOF says it’s still working to contain the fire on both sides of the Parks Highway between miles 82 to 91.

An evacuation order remains in effect along both sides of the highway from mileposts 82 to 91. Any residents in that area should leave their homes immediately.

Right now one lane on the Parks Highway is open with pilot cars leading vehicles through the fire area from mileposts 71 to 99. Officials say there is zero visibility along the road in the fire area and drivers should expect long delays.

At least 50 structures have been lost. State forestry is working with the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Red Cross to assess the damage and confirm the number of structures that have been lost. Due to public and firefighter safety, residents who have been evacuated are currently not being allowed back into the fire area.

State forestry is working with local fire departments to protect structures in the fire area. Alaska National Guard and Alaska State Troopers are also assisting with traffic control and fire suppression efforts.

DOF says additional help from the lower 48 is expected to arrive in the state today to help with both the McKinley Fire and other fires burning in Southcentral Alaska. Ten hotshot crews, two air retardant tankers and four water-scooping aircraft have arrived or are en route.

This is a developing story, check back for details.

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