June 1, 2014 9:30 AM
The Kenai Peninsula and the Funny River Fire received wetting rain Saturday along with 15 to 25 mile per hour winds that were gusting to 45 mph. The winds knocked out electric power and blew down trees on the fireline. Fire crews were pulled back from the lines to protect them from falling green and burned trees. A falling green tree damaged a 4-wheeler ATV, though no one was hurt. The rain and winds subsided later in the day, allowing crews waiting at Bear Creek Subdivision to be transported back to camp. No smoke was visible over the area, though infrared surveys identified some remaining “hot spots” indicating holdover fire activity. When safe the firefighters will continue to “mop-up” or secure the firelines.
Community Barbeque for Firefighters from 6 – 8 PM Sunday at the Sport Center in Soldotna
State Senator Peter Micciche is coordinating a community barbeque from 6 to 8 PM Sunday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex (Sports Center). This event is to provide an opportunity for community members to meet the Funny River firefighters and other first responders and share a meal. Hot dogs and hamburgers are being provided by private funding and other donations.
A Fire Prevention Team has joined up with the Alaska Incident Management Team to provide area residents and agencies information on how to reduce the risk from future wildland-urban interface fires.
Fire containment is now 58 percent, with 708 firefighters assigned to this incident. Residents can expect to see smoke from inside the perimeter of the fire into the summer.
Residents and visitors are urged to continue to use extreme caution with anything that could ignite a fire. Visitors and area residents are reminded that fire crews, air and ground equipment are working in the areas of the Sterling Highway and Funny River Road.
Daily advisories on smoke conditions are available from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation at http://dec.alaska.gov/Applications/Air/airtoolsweb/Advisories.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Services has set up a call line to help homeowners with fire preparedness. Residents can call (907) 714-2495. Information is available at http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us/emergency-mgmt/fire.