Evacuation Order Lifted for Funny River Road Residents

Updated at 2:45 p.m.

Residents of the Funny River Road community were allowed to start returning to their homes as state fire officials lifted the evacuation order at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Although all evacuation orders have been suspended at this time, residents of the community were cautioned that there is still an evacuation advisory in place which could result in another evacuation order should conditions change.

A NASA satellite image of the Funny River Fire from 1:45 p.m. on May 26th. Active fire areas are outlined in red. Courtesy: NASA
A NASA satellite image of the Funny River Fire from 1:45 p.m. on May 26th. Active fire areas are outlined in red. Photo courtesy: NASA

The fire is burning on more than 182,200 acres and is considered 30 percent contained. Firefighters will focus attention Tuesday on the northeast end of the fire near the Kenai Keys subdivision, where Monday, the blaze jumped the Kenai River at the west end of Skilak Lake.

Fire breaks and bulldozer lines have been completed for much of the western end of the Funny River fire.

Kasilof is not currently under immediate threat. Fire officials say cooler temperatures, diminished winds and rain are assisting their efforts, but it is estimated that rain would need to fall for three days resulting in at least a half an inch of rain before it would start to impact the fire.

Six-hundred-eighty-nine firefighters are battling the fire. No major injuries have been reported.

Two community meetings will be held this evening. An information gathering at 6 p.m. will be held at the Tustumena School and at 8 p.m., locals can attend a meeting at the Soldotna High School.

Smoke from the Funny River wildfire is being reported as far north as Fairbanks.

Earlier story below—-

The fire was pushed by winds again yesterday, but those winds were diminishing. The fire has turned back on itself and away from Kasilof. It has expanded northwards towards Skilak Lake.

Some people have been able to return to their properties after evacuations from the Funny River and Kenai Keys areas.

A number of facilities were being used as shelters.

The fire has taken something more than 175,000 acres and there are hundreds fighting it.

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at ltownsend@alaskapublic.org or call 907-550-8452.

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