KENAI: Fires Finally Contained


Abnormal weather struck Alaska's Kenai Peninsula this summer bringing intense thunder storm activity and approximately 1,000 lightning strikes in a little over a week, several of which started wildfires.

The dozen or so fires on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge drew the most attention, especially the King County Creek Fire, which burned more than 10,000 acres in just a few days.

Approximately 300 firefighters from across the country helped the refuge contain the fire. Since the fire was located in federal wilderness, fire crews used light-hand techniques, did not use heavy equipment on the fire line and dropped water rather than retardant. The tactics were successful and most crews were released July 10 after containment was achieved.

Rapid response to other fires, including one threatening the Kenai Cooperative Moose Research Center , have resulted in no loss of life or private property. One fire (the Irish Channel Fire on the far side of Skilak Lake) has been allowed to burn for resource benefits and is to daily monitoring and evaluation

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