Alaska: Card Street Fire blazes on the Kenai Peninsula
The fire burning near Card Street in Sterling grew 33 percent throughout Thursday to more than 12,000 acres, according to Division of Forestry spokesman Tim Lowry.
However, the fire continues to spread eastward and away from nearby homes. Firefighters on the ground and in the air are focusing their attention on protecting structures.
Heading into the evening, there are an estimated 2,000 firefighters in the state and 55 active fires large and small.
That puts the number of fires this season at 286, which have scorched a small-for-Alaska 89,820 acres overall, Lowry said: “We’ll probably get over 100,000 tonight,” he added.
2:30 P.M. THURSDAY UPDATE:
Evacuations have been lifted for subdivisions from the Feuding Lane and Kenai Keyes intersections, the Kenai Peninsula Borough says.
“Kenai Keyes SOUTH to the Kenai River remains evacuated status,” a spokeswoman wrote. “Please use caution when returning to your residence.”
It was a message that residents were hoping for. According to the Division of Forestry today, the subdivisions that were threatened by the now-9,000-acre Card Street Fire appear to be out of the danger zone.
The decision to turn back on the power to homeowners in the Kenai Keyes area is expected about 6 p.m. tonight.
That’s the good news. The fire also remains the top priority wildfire in the United States and has destroyed at least 11 buildings. While most structures are protected, firefighters are now focusing on making sure the flames do not jump the highway.
Some evacuation orders are still in effect on the road to Kenai Keyes, while crews continue to make sure there are no hot spots.
Fire officials have estimated the cost of fighting the wildfire at $1.06 million as of this morning.
— Nikki Carvajal & Tulsi Patil