Card Street grows, new fires spring up

  • By KELLY SULLIVAN and MEGAN PACER
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 10:52am
  • News

The Card Street Fire grew to 2,574 acres over night.

Crews were, and still are, focused on the fire’s perimeter near Kenai Keys Road, Skilak Lake Road and the Sterling Highway, said Public Information Officer Andy Alexandrou.

As the Card Street Fire expanded Tuesday evening, lightening storms and dry conditions ignited multiple other fires across the Kenai Peninsula, drawing resources from the Sterling area.

“The excitement yesterday was that later in the day there was a wind shift and we got an east wind shift that started pushing the fire back toward the Kenai Keys,” said Alaska Interagency Coordination Center Public Information Officer Pete Buist. “It did what we call plume dominated growth at the end of the day.”

Buist said a large, dark plume developed within the fire, carrying its own fire and its own wind. Eventually, he said nighttime temperatures and slightly higher humidity caused the plume to collapse and the fire to slow down.

Two sizeable fires were reported in the Cooper Landing area by 9 p.m.

The Russian Lake Fire, situated on steep terrain and burning Black Spruce, is most recently reported at 150 acres, Alexandrou said. A small crew was deployed to work on the fire, which is under U.S. Forest Service jurisdiction, he said.

The Juneau Lake Fire, nearly 5 acres, was an immediate, direct threat to structures. A small crew evacuated anyone in the area, Alexandrou said.

A small fire grew no larger than .1 acre in Anchor Point, but 3,000 gallons of water was immediately dropped on the fire by local emergency responders and it was quickly contained, Alexandrou said. Flames have also been spotted near the Village of Nanwalek and crews are staging to assess the size and scope of the new fire, he said.

Five Type 1 Interagency Hotshot crews are being deployed to the Card Street Fire, Wednesday. A Type 2 team from Washington State will be joining Thursday.

“They are ‘the best of the best,’ very seasoned crews,” Alexandrou said.

All of yesterday’s recommended evacuations are still in place from Card Street East to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Boundary, which includes the Kenai Keys Road along Feuding Lane to the Sterling Highway, the Salmon Run Drive, Fisherman’s Road and Dow Island subdivisions.

Low humidity, high temperatures and windy conditions are expected to persist for the next two days, but are likely to ease up Friday for some much needed relief, Alexandrou said.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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