Hunting and public access to Willow Swamp reopens

Hunting and public access to Willow Swamp reopens

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has reopened a portion of Game Management Unit 14A to hunting, allowing hunters and the public access to some state lands in the area of the Deshka Landing Fire.

Kayla Heffner
Swan Lake Fire: 163,714 acres, 37% contained

Swan Lake Fire: 163,714 acres, 37% contained

The Swan Lake Fire started from a lightning strike on June 5. Since then, it has grown to be the largest fire on the Kenai Peninsula this season.

KTVA Web Staff & KTVA Weather Team
Swan Lake Fire crews get break from rain and train to protect homes

Swan Lake Fire crews get break from rain and train to protect homes

Nearly 500 people are working to put out the Swan Lake Fire. Lately crews have had some help, thanks to rain giving them a break from the line so they can protect homes in the area.

Cassie Schirm
State lifts burn suspension for Kenai Peninsula after rain

State lifts burn suspension for Kenai Peninsula after rain

After some much-needed rain, the Department of Natural Resources said a burn suspension is no longer in effect for the Kenai Peninsula.

Kayla Heffner
Kachemak Bay fires: Caribou Lake Fire expected to be 100% contained Sunday

Kachemak Bay fires: Caribou Lake Fire expected to be 100% contained Sunday

The Caribou Lake Fire is expected to be contained by Sunday, Sept. 8.

KTVA Web Staff
Mat-Su Fires: McKinley Fire 95% contained, Deshka Landing Fire 95% contained

Mat-Su Fires: McKinley Fire 95% contained, Deshka Landing Fire 95% contained

Several agencies are working to contain multiple fires in the Mat-Su Borough.

KTVA Web Staff & KTVA Weather Team
Have beetle-killed spruce trees? The Anchorage Firewise program can help pay to take them out

Have beetle-killed spruce trees? The Anchorage Firewise program can help pay to take them out

The program will reimburse homeowners up to $500 in matching funds. The work must be completed by October 31.

Lauren Maxwell
Kenai Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna burn closure to be lifted

Kenai Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna burn closure to be lifted

An emergency burn closure for the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs will be lifted at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Elizabeth Roman
Early morning arson arrest leads police to charge suspect in Service High fire

Early morning arson arrest leads police to charge suspect in Service High fire

Anchorage police say they made an arson arrest Tuesday morning which led them to charge a man in connection to a recent Service High School fire.

Kayla Heffner
Disaster assistance available for Alaskans affected by wildfires

Disaster assistance available for Alaskans affected by wildfires

Homeowners and people renting homes damaged by wildfires in the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula can apply for assistance starting Sept. 4.

Shayne Nuesca
Volunteer firefighter nearly lost his own home while fighting fires

Volunteer firefighter nearly lost his own home while fighting fires

Vic Pearce, a volunteer firefighter with the Caswell Fire Department, worked the front lines of the fire Saturday and Sunday.

John Thain
Six-year-old girl comes up with special thanks for firefighters battling wildfires

Six-year-old girl comes up with special thanks for firefighters battling wildfires

Aurora Armon donated dozens of pre-stamped postcards so firefighters can send notes home to families.

Dave Leval
Wasilla church offers help and collects donations for McKinley Fire victims

Wasilla church offers help and collects donations for McKinley Fire victims

Free clothes, personal hygiene products, and gift cards are among the items the church is giving to those in need.

Dave Leval
Expect long delays on the Sterling Highway for Labor Day weekend as Swan Lake Fire grows

Expect long delays on the Sterling Highway for Labor Day weekend as Swan Lake Fire grows

Travelers should expect delays on Labor Day weekend as the Swan Lake Fire continues to grow.

Cassie Schirm
Anchorage officially saw the hottest and driest summer on record

Anchorage officially saw the hottest and driest summer on record

Anchorage officially etches itself in history, as the warmest and driest meteorological summer on record comes to a close.

Aaron Morrison
Sheep Creek Lodge owners who evacuated leave doors open for firefighters

Sheep Creek Lodge owners who evacuated leave doors open for firefighters

It wasn't long before first responders told them they had to go. The fire was heading south fast.

John Thain
Southwest Fires: Levelock Fire grows to 7,913 acres as rain moves through Bristol Bay region

Southwest Fires: Levelock Fire grows to 7,913 acres as rain moves through Bristol Bay region

Alaska smokejumpers are working to contain a wildfire burning west of the Bristol Bay area village of Levelock.

KTVA Web Staff
ASD cancels outdoor activities due to air quality

ASD cancels outdoor activities due to air quality

The Anchorage School District nixed all after-school practices and games scheduled Friday, citing concerns about the air quality.

KTVA Web Staff
Kenai Peninsula hunters urged to avoid wildfire areas

Kenai Peninsula hunters urged to avoid wildfire areas

As firefighters continue to work on active wildfires in the area, hunters are asked to be aware of fire conditions on the Kenai Peninsula.

Kayla Heffner
AFD helps homeowners pay to remove trees that pose wildfire risk

AFD helps homeowners pay to remove trees that pose wildfire risk

As part of the Firewise Home Assessment Program, Anchorage residents can apply to have firefighters visit their property. While there, fire officials will identify trees that may be more prone to ignition and recommend removal or pruning. 

Liz Raines
Willow transfer stations expand to take tons of wildfire debris for free

Willow transfer stations expand to take tons of wildfire debris for free

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is getting ready for mountains of wildfire garbage to soon descend on their relatively small transfer stations.

John Thain
Alaska State Fair train service a go for Labor Day Weekend

Alaska State Fair train service a go for Labor Day Weekend

The Alaska Railroad Corporation says State Fair Trains will operate as scheduled through the holiday weekend.

Kayla Heffner
Inside the Gates: When the call comes in, National Guard is ready to help fight Alaska wildfires

Inside the Gates: When the call comes in, National Guard is ready to help fight Alaska wildfires

Always prepared and always on call. Alaska Army National Guard ready for the green light when it comes to fighting Alaska's wildfires.

Scott Gross
WATCH LIVE: Swan Lake Fire community meeting in Cooper Landing

WATCH LIVE: Swan Lake Fire community meeting in Cooper Landing

A community meeting for those seeking information on the Swan Lake Fire is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m.

Elizabeth Roman
Hot Shot Catering fuels McKinley firefighters

Hot Shot Catering fuels McKinley firefighters

Hot Shot Catering started three years ago out of Fairbanks. This is its first year feeding wildfire crews. The company secured a contract with the state to provide the meals for those working the McKinley Fire.

Liz Raines
Willow students back in school after McKinley Fire

Willow students back in school after McKinley Fire

Kale Casey with the Division of Forestry went into classrooms to answer questions kids had about ash pits, flare ups and whether flames could spread to their school.

Heather Hintze
Residents return to smoldering neighborhood after McKinley Fire

Residents return to smoldering neighborhood after McKinley Fire

Many people affected by the McKinley Fire were finally able to return home to assess the damage done to their properties.

John Thain
Multiple organizations offer aid to McKinley Fire victims in need

Multiple organizations offer aid to McKinley Fire victims in need

Businesses and nonprofits are inviting McKinley fire victims to come by and pick-up what they need.

Lauren Maxwell
Chugach Electric taking steps to prevent potential wildfires in Anchorage

Chugach Electric taking steps to prevent potential wildfires in Anchorage

With dry weather conditions and high fire danger, Chugach Electric says they are trying to mitigate wildfire risks in their service area, possibly making power outage times longer.

Kayla Heffner
2 charged in crash that injured National Guardsmen working Swan Lake Fire

2 charged in crash that injured National Guardsmen working Swan Lake Fire

The Kenai Police Department said 21-year-old Johnathan C. Tanape and 18-year-old Loren J. Burns were arrested and face multiple charges related to the incident.

Scott Gross
National Guard, Defense Force members hit by alleged drunk driver on Sterling Highway

National Guard, Defense Force members hit by alleged drunk driver on Sterling Highway

Four military service members were struck by a drunk driver on the Sterling Hwy. on Saturday. One of whom is the KPB mayor's son.

Bryan Dunagan
Willow man uses V8 juice to save home from McKinley Fire

Willow man uses V8 juice to save home from McKinley Fire

Sheltering in place with no electricity, Paul Hemmelgarn used anything and everything he had to protect his home — including items from his pantry.

Daniella Rivera & Heather Hintze
Extreme conditions: Alaska wildfire season extended

Extreme conditions: Alaska wildfire season extended

Alaska's wildfire season has been extended because of extreme conditions causing high fire danger throughout the state.

Elizabeth Roman
Parks Hwy. opens to two-way traffic for the first time since McKinley Fire

Parks Hwy. opens to two-way traffic for the first time since McKinley Fire

Mileposts 71-99 had been reduced to one lane with waits of up to two hours to get through.

Dave Leval
'It looks like a war zone’: Family of 9 loses home to McKinley Fire

'It looks like a war zone’: Family of 9 loses home to McKinley Fire

The Nott family doesn’t have insurance and isn’t sure what they’ll do next. They’re staying in Wasilla at the home of another son, and using two borrowed RVs. 

Daniella Rivera & Heather Hintze
A look at the crews behind the scenes and on the front line of the Swan Lake Fire

A look at the crews behind the scenes and on the front line of the Swan Lake Fire

More than 400 crew members have one mission as they work on the Swan Lake Fire, both behind the scenes and on the front line.

Cassie Schirm
Couple's defensible space saves their home from McKinley Fire

Couple's defensible space saves their home from McKinley Fire

Pete and Sandy Petram's house is still standing proudly, yet it is surrounded on all sides by charred trees and ashes after strong winds blew the McKinley Fire south.

John Thain
Dunleavy flies over Mat-Su wildfire damage

Dunleavy flies over Mat-Su wildfire damage

Governor is among those who get different view of the McKinley and Deshka Fires that have burned for one week.

Dave Leval
Lightning starts new Southwest Alaska wildfire

Lightning starts new Southwest Alaska wildfire

According to Alaska's wildfire information site, the Lower Klutuk Fire is about 10 miles southeast of New Stuyahok and 15 miles northwest of Levelock in the Bristol Bay area.

Angela Krenzien
Valley residents get McKinley Fire, Deshka Fire updates

Valley residents get McKinley Fire, Deshka Fire updates

More people told to prepare for possible evacuations as crews continue to battle fires that started last Saturday.

Dave Leval
Mat-Su residents with fire damage may qualify for property tax break

Mat-Su residents with fire damage may qualify for property tax break

Fire damage must be at least $1,000 to qualify and there's a deadline for residents to apply.

Lauren Maxwell
Coffee customers pitch in to help Camp Caswell owners start over

Coffee customers pitch in to help Camp Caswell owners start over

Mocha Moose coffee shop in Wasilla is taking donations for Camp Caswell after a customer wanted a way to help.
“It makes up for all the times that you see the bad,” said barista Nicole Orth.

Daniella Rivera & Heather Hintze
Dunleavy issues disaster declaration for McKinley, Deshka Landing, Swan Lake wildfires

Dunleavy issues disaster declaration for McKinley, Deshka Landing, Swan Lake wildfires

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has issued a disaster declaration for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough in response to impacts from the McKinley, Deshka Landing and Swan Lake wildfires.

Elizabeth Roman
Alaska Railroad modifies weekend schedules, cancels State Fair Trains

Alaska Railroad modifies weekend schedules, cancels State Fair Trains

Fire and ice both continue to threaten the Alaska Railroad Corporation's infrastructure and are forcing officials to modify schedules. State Fair Trains scheduled to go between Anchorage and Palmer on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 24-25 have been canceled.

Shannon Ballard
For some hotshots, McKinley Fire is personal

For some hotshots, McKinley Fire is personal

After just a few hours of rest — either in tents or on the ground — and a little breakfast, it's back to work on the McKinley Fire fire line for Palmer's Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew. 

Liz Raines
Red Cross consolidating overnight shelter services for McKinley Fire evacuees at 4 p.m. Friday

Red Cross consolidating overnight shelter services for McKinley Fire evacuees at 4 p.m. Friday

The Red Cross of Alaska is transferring all overnight shelter services for those displaced by the McKinley Fire to the emergency shelter at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla as of 4 p.m. Friday.

Angela Krenzien
‘Like it was never there’: Mat-Su RV Park destroyed in McKinley Fire

‘Like it was never there’: Mat-Su RV Park destroyed in McKinley Fire

By the time Colin Jennings saw the fire, it was too late to do anything but leave his property, the Mat-Su RV Park. Now all that’s left is ash and metal.

Daniella Rivera
Mat-Su Borough officials to announce buildings destroyed in McKinley Fire

Mat-Su Borough officials to announce buildings destroyed in McKinley Fire

On Friday, Mat-Su residents will learn whether their homes burned in the McKinley Fire.

Lauren Maxwell
Anchorage clinic offers free care for dogs and cats affected by wildfires

Anchorage clinic offers free care for dogs and cats affected by wildfires

Blaney said donations are pouring in and that other veterinary clinics are also on board to do whatever they can.

Lauren Maxwell
Couple who lost home in McKinley Fire grateful for help

Couple who lost home in McKinley Fire grateful for help

The Larsons left their property after troopers told them to head north. They haven't been back or even driven by since.

Lauren Maxwell
3 ways to protect your home from wildfire

3 ways to protect your home from wildfire

As crews work to defend homes from the McKinley Fire, fire officials are reminding all Alaskans that there are things people can to do make their homes less attractive to flames. 

Liz Raines
Butte shooting range closed due to fire concern

Butte shooting range closed due to fire concern

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige said the Kenny and Patty Barber Shooting Range of Maud Road would be closed for the "immediate future" because of dry fuel in the area.

Heather Hintze
Firefighters worry about wildfire danger with hunting season

Firefighters worry about wildfire danger with hunting season

Hunting season is set to begin this weekend and there is concern about hunters traveling near wildfires currently burning in the Willow area.

Joe Vigil
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District cancels all outdoor sports, teams traveling

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District cancels all outdoor sports, teams traveling

In the announcement Wednesday, KPBSD also added any travel between Cooper Landing on Sterling Highway is canceled.

Kayla Heffner
Families near Swan Lake Fire get ready in case of evacuation

Families near Swan Lake Fire get ready in case of evacuation

Suzanne and Fred Launer are praying for rain, hoping they won't have to evacuate their home on the Kenai Peninsula, but say they are prepared to leave.

Cassie Schirm
AFD assistant chief says conditions in Anchorage are extreme

AFD assistant chief says conditions in Anchorage are extreme

Wednesday, August 21st 2019, 3:52 PM AKDT by Kayla Heffner
Kenai Peninsula Borough declares disaster emergency

Kenai Peninsula Borough declares disaster emergency

Mayor Charlie Pierce has declared a local disaster emergency for the Kenai Peninsula Borough due to multiple wildfires and high fire danger throughout the borough and outside of its cities.

Elizabeth Roman
Why air quality is worse at night and in the morning

Why air quality is worse at night and in the morning

As wildfires continue to burn across the state amidst the driest summer on record, air quality continues to fluctuate from moderate to hazardous.

Aaron Morrison
Houston restaurant serves firefighters free meal as thanks for fighting wildfires

Houston restaurant serves firefighters free meal as thanks for fighting wildfires

Owners of Triple J Roadhouse offer free meal to those who evacuated because of the fires.

Dave Leval
DOF: McKinley Fire is 'very similar' to 2015 Sockeye Fire

DOF: McKinley Fire is 'very similar' to 2015 Sockeye Fire

People in willow are still dealing with the aftermath of the Sockeye Fire in 2015. Now there’s new destruction from the McKinley Fire. But for fire crews working the line, déjà vu could be a good thing.

Liz Raines
Emergency burn closure issued for Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su

Emergency burn closure issued for Kenai Peninsula and Mat-Su

The Division of Forestry has sent out an emergency burn closure starting Wednesday morning for most of Southcentral.

Shayne Nuesca
Cash vs. Clothing: The best way to help wildfire victims

Cash vs. Clothing: The best way to help wildfire victims

Alaskans looking to help those displaced by wildfires are asked to make monetary donations rather than bringing food and supplies to shelters, according to the Red Cross of Alaska.

Daniella Rivera
Caribou Lake Fire near Homer grows to 100 acres

Caribou Lake Fire near Homer grows to 100 acres

The fast-moving Caribou Lake Fire grew to 100 acres on Tuesday.

Kayla Heffner
Update: ASD cancels after-school outdoor practices and competitions

Update: ASD cancels after-school outdoor practices and competitions

The Anchorage School District says schools will decide whether or not to cancel outdoor practices or bring students inside for recess tomorrow.

Kayla Heffner
Mat-Su Borough declares disaster emergency, FEMA approves federal funds for McKinley Fire

Mat-Su Borough declares disaster emergency, FEMA approves federal funds for McKinley Fire

The declaration says the wildfires are severely threatening life and property.

Elizabeth Roman
Smoke reduces air quality, visibility across Southcentral

Smoke reduces air quality, visibility across Southcentral

Air quality will continue to suffer as light wind allows smoke from the nearby wildfires to settle around Southcentral.

Jeremy LaGoo
Advisories issued for unhealthy air quality and poor visibility

Advisories issued for unhealthy air quality and poor visibility

As wildfires grow across Southcentral, smoke continues to spread across the region. Anchorage saw it's worst air quality since June 28th when the smoke forced the air quality index into the very unhealthy level in the early afternoon. The air quality has

Melissa Frey
‘There was nothing but flame’: McKinley Fire evacuees face loss, uncertainty

‘There was nothing but flame’: McKinley Fire evacuees face loss, uncertainty

Dozens of Alaskans displaced by the McKinley Fire are anxiously waiting for news about their homes, while others already know they don't have a home to return to.

Daniella Rivera
North Fork Fire northwest of Homer grows, people asked to prepare for possible evacuation

North Fork Fire northwest of Homer grows, people asked to prepare for possible evacuation

A fire in Anchor Point near North Fork Road was reported Sunday night.

Shayne Nuesca
Weather helps fire fighting conditions improve but no rain in the forecast

Weather helps fire fighting conditions improve but no rain in the forecast

The storm responsible for powerful wind gusts this weekend will continue to move off the coast and weaken on Monday.

Jeremy LaGoo
Update: Troopers close Sterling Highway due to Swan Lake Fire, evacuation alert still active for Cooper Landing

Update: Troopers close Sterling Highway due to Swan Lake Fire, evacuation alert still active for Cooper Landing

High winds and extremely dry conditions pushed the Swan Lake Fire across the Sterling Highway. Travel advisories and multiple closures have been issued.

Shayne Nuesca

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