The Situation Report of the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center lists the Funny River fire at 123,649 acres or 193 square miles as of Sunday morning. Incident Commander Rob Allen has 457 personnel assigned to his fire. Strong winds produced crown fires especially along the active northern and western edges of the fire on Saturday. The fire reached the right-of-way of the electrical transmission line that parallels the Sterling Highway near Kasilof. Smokejumpers and hotshot crews worked that part of the fire. Also on Saturday, crews set fires along a fuel break near the Funny River Road to deprive the main fire of fuel should it advance that far north.
The active fire front on Sunday’s fire perimeter map appeared mainly on the eastern half of the Funny River Fire, deep into uninhabited parts of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Alaska Army National Guard has assigned two Blackhawk helicopters to assist firefighters over the Memorial Day weekend. To date, AICC reports costs to fight the fire at about $1.5 million.
In its fire weather forecast, the National Weather Service calls for Sunday weather much like Saturday’s. Gusty winds will arrive in the afternoon with a steady onshore flow all day. Relative humidity will fall inland because of warmer temperatures. NWS predicts rain, developing over the Gulf of Alaska and moving north, will arrive on the fire by Tuesday.
Governor Sean Parnell and State Forester Chris Maisch will tour the fire and attend a media briefing today.