The Clear Fire burned one year-round home and several cabins last week

flames and smoke above trees
Fire burns in the Kobe Ag subdivision on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. (Eric Kiehn/Task Force Leader with Northwest Team)

The Clear Fire burned one year-round home and a number of other buildings when it made a wind-driven run through the Kobe Road area last week.

Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker says a preliminary report lists 15 affected properties.

“One year-round residence lost and seven different cabins lost, and then on seven other properties there are outbuildings, garages, sheds — sometimes, its trailers and equipment and even connexes filled with building materials lost as well,” he said.

Walker says the borough is working with the fire management team and the state to refine the loss and damage assessment and is also seeking the public’s input to identify the owners of some fire-damaged properties. The fire, now estimated at 70,000 acres, is burning near the Interior Alaska communities of Clear and Anderson.

Walker says the Red Cross is coming down from Fairbanks to conduct its own assessment, and the borough is talking to the state about a possible disaster declaration.

“There’s not much you can say for sure in terms of assistance, other than our local non-profits and just local donations and efforts are really making a difference for the couple who lost their home,” he said.

Barbara Walters, with the Denali Borough area non-profit group Neighbor to Neighbor says local people responded generously to a call to meet the couple’s most immediate needs..

“I was there when we were unloading clothes,” she said. “There was a gift certificate and there was another gift card and there was another card and there was a check — and really they were touched and moved to tears.”

Walters says cash or gas cards are a good way to support the couple because they are staying with friends and do not have a place to store many things.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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