View the latest updates on the McHugh Creek Fire

Updated at 8:21 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20

A five-mile stretch of the Seward Highway was reopened Tuesday just after 9 p.m. and both lanes remain open Wednesday morning, as crews continue to fight the McHugh Creek Fire that burned overnight.

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Some firefighters camped overnight and others were closely monitoring the flames Wednesday morning in spots where the fire was approaching the highway. Traffic delays were upward of four hours at times on Tuesday and drivers are advised that road closures may be reinstated Wednesday.


A release Tuesday from the Department of Forestry from just after 9 p.m. stated no evacuations had been ordered yet, and DOF said police will notify affected residents if any are put in place.

“Residents can also sign up for evacuation alerts from the Anchorage police and fire departments at,” the statement said.


The fire was reevaluated between 300 to 350 acres late Tuesday afternoon as a result of better aerial survey mapping, according to Alaska Division of Forestry public information officer Lori Wiertsema. The size has not yet been updated Wednesday morning.

The fire was too dangerous for ground crews to fight overnight. Steep terrain kept firefighters out of the area, so air crews attacked the fire through the night.

Officials upgraded the fire from a Type 4 to a Type 2 fire, opening up a large amount of additional resources and the establishment of a base camp, according to Renette Saba, DOF Incident Commander. Backup crews from the Lower 48 are expected to depart for Alaska on Wednesday.

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KTVA’s Sierra Starks contributed to this report.

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