Sept. 8 - 3:21 p.m.

Caribou Lake Fire 94% contained, expected to be contained by Sunday, Sept. 8

The Caribou Lake Fire is 94% contained, according to an update posted by KPB Alerts. The fire is at 870 acres.

"The reduction in acreage is due to more accurate mapping," KPB alerts wrote. "It is anticipated that all firefighters will be released from this fire by the end of shift on Sunday."

The fire is expected to be contained by the end of Sunday.

 

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Aug. 30 - 11 a.m.

Caribou Lake Fire: Final update from AK Fire

The final update on the Caribou Lake Fire has been posted to AK Fire Info. According to fire officials, the fire is being managed as a full suppression fire with a goal of 100% containment by Sept. 4.

Caribou Lake Public Information fire map updated on Aug. 30, 2019. (Photo: AK Fire Info)

On Wednesday, the fire was 57% contained at 904 acres. Those numbers haven't changed.

Officials say smoke may be visible from within the fire perimeter until there is significant rain or snow. Though fire officials won't be posting to AK Fire Info unless there is a significant update, more information can be found online through InciWeb.

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Aug. 29 - 8:40 p.m.

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.

READ MORE: Kenai Peninsula hunters urged to avoid wildfire areas 

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Aug. 29 - 4:57 p.m.

Air quality to improve for Labor Day weekend

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer as many gear up to settle into school and await the arrival of fall.

For many, it's one last big vacation of the year thanks to the long weekend and continued summer-like weather. In Alaska, the temperatures are already beginning to vary greatly following what is one of the warmest summers on record.

Accompanying this summer were numerous wildfires that scorched The Last Frontier, which led to air quality advisories for many areas through the summer. But as summer unofficially comes to an end, many may find that they are beginning to breathe cleaner air.

If you're tired of the smoke and the health issues it causes, there's good news in the forecast.

READ MORE: Air quality to improve for Labor Day weekend 

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Aug. 29 - 9:10 a.m.

Caribou Lake Fire 57% contained

Firefighting crews made good progress in containing the Caribou Lake Fire Wednesday and brought total containment to 57%, according to AK Fire Info. Even with windy conditions Wednesday, the fire didn't grow beyond its 904 acres.

Thursday's strategy continues to be containment. Firefighters will work on the north side of the fire in Boxcar Hills.

Although structures are nearby, none of them are threatened by the fire.

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Aug. 27 - 8:20 a.m.

Caribou Lake Fire remains at 900 acres, traffic delays on Sterling Highway

The Caribou Lake Fire has stayed at 900 acres and 20% containment. 

An update posted on AK Fire Info about firefighting efforts reads:

On Tuesday, 78 firefighters, including eight firefighters and support personnel from Kachemak Emergency Services, will continue to hold and improve existing control lines. They will also work to establish additional control lines using dozers, saws, and hand tools. A helicopter continues to support firefighters on the ground with water drops and delivering supplies to the firefighters. [Single-engine] air tankers, known as Fire Bosses, and water scooping aircraft will support firefighters on the ground as needed and conditions allow.

The fire received some rain Monday but the ongoing drought conditions in the area have made the ground very dry. There are limited chances of rain this week, according to fire managers.

Drivers should expect delays between the "Y" intersection of the Sterling Highway and Seward Highway intersection as well as milepost 71 and Watson Lake due to smoke and fire activity. Motorists are asked to drive with their headlights on and yield to fire vehicles and first responders. 

A temporary flight restriction over the Caribou Lake Fire is in place.

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Aug. 26 - 1:36 p.m.

Extreme conditions: Alaska wildfire season extended

Alaska's wildfire season has been extended because of extreme conditions causing high fire danger throughout the state. It's the first time the season has been extended since 2006.

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige made the announcement Monday. The season, which normally begins April 1 and ends on Aug. 31, is now in effect until Sept. 30.

READ MORE: Extreme conditions: Alaska wildfire season extended 

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Aug. 25 - 8:32 p.m.

More crews arrive for Caribou Lake Fire

Firefighters and supplies were flown to the Caribou Lake Fire area, according to an update on AK Fire Info. Helicopters and firefighters will be using part of the gravel pit parking area on Basargin Road, and fire officials are asking people to avoid parking there for safety reasons.

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Aug. 25 - 8:59 a.m.

Air quality advisory in effect through Monday afternoon 

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality advisory in effect through Monday afternoon. The areas included in the advisory are Susitna Valley, Kenai Peninsula and the Copper River Valley.

More details from AK Fire Info:

Fire

Southcentral Alaska is being impacted by the smoke from multiple wildfires in the surrounding area. A listing of activity for specific fires is available at: fire.ak.blm.gov, AICC Situation Report.

Smoke

Susitna Valley: Smoke will be pushed north as winds shift to the south today and bring smoke from Swan Lake. These impacts will extend up the Alaska Range. A wind switch back to the north tomorrow afternoon will move smoke south again.

Anchorage Area: Smoke from Swan Lake has already moved into the area with the wind shift to the south. Smoke impacts may be moderated a bit today by stronger Turnagain Arm winds.

Kenai Peninsula: Winds shifting to the south should help clear smoke out of Seward and may improve air quality in Cooper Landing a bit. Sterling will be seeing the bulk of the smoke today with some being pushed towards Soldotna and Kenai later in the afternoon. Winds shift to the northwest again midday tomorrow and push smoke back to the south and east.

Full smoke outlook:

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Aug. 25 - 8:50 a.m.

North Fork Fire 100% contained, Caribou Lake Fire 20%

In an update posted on AK Fire Info, it was confirmed that the North Fork Fire is 100% contained and crews mopped up the area Saturday evening. The Caribou Lake Fire is currently 900 acres and is 20% contained.

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Aug. 24 - 10:40 a.m.

North Fork Fire 90% contained, Caribou Lake Fire 20%

Crews continue to mop up the perimeter of the North Fork Fire. As of Friday night, the blaze was 90% contained and burning 59 acres, according to AK Fire Info.

The Caribou Lake Fire is 20% contained and burning 895 acres.

"Two water dropping airplanes, called Fire Bosses, continued to support the firefighters on the ground with water drops as needed," the update stated.

A community meeting for the Caribou Lake Fire is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at McNeil Canyon Elementary School.

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Aug. 24 - 8 a.m.

Light winds aid firefighters 

Firefighters say winds were light at the Caribou Lake Fire Friday. They say it's burning intermittently in grasses and mosses but isn't burning much black spruce — a favorite fuel of wildfires — according to an update posted on AK Fire Info.

"Aircraft continue to support the firefighters on the ground as needed with water drops," the update read.

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Aug. 23 - 6:13 p.m.

Caribou Lake Fire: Community meeting location and time

Caribou Lake Fire meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 (Photo: AK Fire Info)

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Aug. 23 - 12:26 p.m.

North Fork Fire 75% contained, 59 acres

Fire officials say the North Fork Fire has been holding at around 59 acres for several days because of firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry and Kachemak Emergency Services. It is now 75% contained.

People living along North Fork Road, north of the fire and in neighborhoods along Diamond Ridge Road to the south had been under a Level 1 Ready notice due to the fire. However, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management has lifted the alert as of 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23.

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Aug. 23 - 12:17 p.m.

Caribou Lake Fire: Community meeting scheduled for this weekend

A community meeting for those seeking information on the Caribou Lake Fire is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24 at 3 p.m. at McNeil Canyon School. The school's address is 52188 East End Rd. in Homer.

Fire officials say clear skies on Thursday allowed additional equipment and supplies to be delivered to firefighters working to contain the fire, which was exhibiting low to moderate fire behavior. Fire activity was largely on the east side and along the ridge top dozer lines.

Caribou Lake Fire Map – August 23, 2019 (Photo: AK Fire Info)

"The Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the Caribou Lake Fire on Friday at 7:00 am. One hotshot crew, a load of smokejumpers, and local firefighters will continue to hold and reinforce containment lines around the fire," an online update states. "Firefighters on the ground will continue to be supported by Fire Boss aircraft strategically dropping water. All of the firefighting efforts place firefighter and public safety as the highest priority, while protecting the nearby community of Caribou Lakes Subdivision. This is a full suppression fire, with the goal of 100 percent containment."

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Aug. 22 - 12:01 p.m.

Thursday weather update

KTVA's Jeremy LaGoo Join talks about the worsening drought, air quality and chance of rain in the forecast.

 
User: KTVA 11 News To: link
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Aug. 22 - 11:26 a.m.

Winds expected to challenge Caribou Lake and North Fork fires

Public Information Officer Sam Harrel posted an update to AK Fire Info Thursday saying winds are expected to be a challenge to both the Caribou and North Fork fires throughout the day.

Caribou Lake Fire

The Caribou Lake Fire (#754) had low to moderate fire behavior on Wednesday with most of the activity on the western portion and along dozer lines on the ridge tops of Boxcar Hills. Firelines constructed by crews were challenged yesterday by east winds. Firefighters supported by water-scooping Fire Bosses and four retardant tankers caught areas where the fire crossed their lines on the western side. The fire is 10 percent contained and estimated to be nearly 800 acres.

Today, BLM Alaska Smokejumpers, Redding Hotshots and members of the Kachemak Emergency Services Area will work with dozers to construct line around yesterday’s slop-overs. There are no evacuation notices in effect for the residences around Long or Caribou lakes. Structure protection measures are being utilized for the homes, cabins and secondary structures around the fire. There are no immediate threats to nearby structures and aerial support will once again be available to firefighters on the ground.

 

A Fire Boss makes a water drop on the edge of the Caribou Lake Fire on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (Photo: Alaska Division of Forestry/Jeff Sinn)

North Fork Fire

The North Fork Fire (#751) also had moderate fire activity yesterday, mainly in the interior of the fire where unburned pockets of trees continue to burn. Firefighters made very good progress on mop-up along the fire’s edge. Mitigating snags and other hazardous trees is being done for the safety of the firefighters as they widen the perimeter to 50 feet. The fire remains at 59 acres and containment is 50 percent. Water tenders from Anchor Point Fire and Homer Volunteer Fire departments are assisting Alaska’s Yukon Type 2 Initial Attack Crew and Washington’s Zigzag Hotshots.

A low-pressure trough approaching from the north will bring little precipitation to the fires but gusty and erratic winds will again challenge containment lines. Firefighters on both fires will continue to hold the lines they have constructed and improve their perimeters.

Because of the forecast winds, residents living along North Fork Road, north of the fire and in communities along the Diamond Ridge Road to the south, remain on a Level 1 “Ready” notice. A “Ready” alert is NOT a notice to leave. This means that people must be ready for potential evacuation. This includes assisting family members with special needs, arrange to move mobile property (boats, trailers, ATV), and prepare pets or livestock.

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Aug. 21 - 11:16 a.m.

Caribou Lake Fire continues to grow and firefighters work to control North Fork Fire

The Kenai Peninsula Borough says the Caribou Lake Fire is estimated to be 700 acres as of Tuesday night. Crews have had difficulty mapping the fire due to poor visibility.

KPB says there are more than a dozen structures southeast of the Caribou Lake Fire on the north shore of the lake. Smokejumpers and hotshot crews are building a fireline around the area and aircraft are being used to fight the fire.

An aerial photograph shows the Caribou Lake Fire on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. (Photo: Jay Walter/Alaska Division of Forestry)

The borough says the North Fork Fire is staying at 59 acres and cooler conditions helped in firefighting efforts. 

On Wednesday, the borough wrote on its website:

Clear skies and temperatures in the 60s along with winds from the east starting this afternoon will challenge firefighters on the Peninsula as dry conditions continue. The next chance of rain for the fire areas is expected Friday as a front moves through bringing isolated showers.

 

Winds and dry conditions are still expected in the area and people living along North Fork Road and Diamond Ridge Road are still asked to be ready if there is an evacuation.

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Aug. 20 

Caribou Lake Fire in Homer at 100 acres

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

A release from AK Fire Info says the fire is burning 23 miles northeast of Homer and is about a mile from Caribou Lake. An initial release said smokejumpers were protecting about 30 structures threatened by the fire.

Officials say no structures or cabins are in immediate danger as of Tuesday.
 

FULL STORY: Caribou Lake Fire near Homer grows to 100 acres  

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Aug. 19 

North Fork Fire in Anchor Point grows and prompts evacuation alert

North Fork Fire in Anchor Point was first reported around 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18. (Photo courtesy: AK Fire Info)

A fire was reported Sunday night in Anchor Point near North Fork Road, according to the Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS). The fire grew and people were asked on Monday to prepare for a possible evacuation.

People north of the fire who live along North Fork Road and communities in the south on Diamond Ridge Road have been placed in a level one evacuation notice.

Firefighters and aircraft were working on the North Fork Fire on Sunday, AFS wrote in a post on AK Fire Info. There were about 20 firefighters from multiple agencies and two helicopters with water buckets. 

FULL STORY AND MAP: North Fork Fire northwest of Homer grows, people asked to prepare for possible evacuation 

 

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