Fire grows near Funny River Road

  • Monday, May 19, 2014 8:48pm
  • News
This Division of Forestry photo shows smoke from the Funny River Horse Trail fire Monday evening.

This Division of Forestry photo shows smoke from the Funny River Horse Trail fire Monday evening.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. on Tuesday

A fire that began Monday on Funny River Road has burned more than seven miles of wildland south to the bank of Tustumena Lake Tuesday, forestry service officials said. 

Andy Alexandrou, public information officer for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry, said the fire has consumed more than 3,000 acres. 

“40 people are on it now,” he said Tuesday morning. 

The fire was likely human-caused, though it is unclear exactly how it started, he said. 

“It could have been a campfire, or an exhaust system from a recreational vehicle, we don’t know,” he said. 

The fire started near the Hansen Horse Trail, or Funny River Horse Trail, a popular recreation spot for hunters and hikers.

A new fire management team is scheduled to arrive at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Alexandrou said. They’ll take over management of the fire, freeing up local resources to focus on other fires in the area. 

Currently the fire is burning more than seven miles long and about a mile wide — a long, narrow line typical of wind-drive fires, Alexandrou said.

Updated at 7:24 a.m. Tuesday 

A fire that began near Funny River Road in Soldotna has grown to nearly seven miles long and almost a mile wide, according to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry’s Facebook page. By 11 p.m. Monday the fire had consumed nearly 2,500 acres. Fire crews remained on the fire overnight – it has burned to an area about three miles from Tustumena Lake. ###

Updated at 10:18 p.m. Monday:

A fire near that began near the Funny River Road Horse Trail, or Hansen’s Horse Trail, has consumed at least 960 acres of land and is still spreading. 

“I’m quite certain it’s well over 1,000 now,” said Andy Alexandrou, public information officer for the Division of Forestry. 

About 70 crew are battling the blaze and another management team will arrive Tuesday morning to take the fire over, Alexandrou said. 

The fire is not currently threatening any homes or habitated areas and there have been no evacuations ordered. It is still burning south toward Tustumena Lake, Alexandrou said. 

Wildfire breaks out

Crews are currently battling an 80-acre blaze near the Funny River Road Horse Trail, located at Mile 7 of Funny River Road, as of Monday evening.

Firefighters from the Kenai area Division of Forestry and the Chena Interagency Hotshot crew are working the fire. Sam Harrel, Division of Forestry spokesperson, said the Gannett Glacier Fire Crew out of Palmer is en route.

The fire, which is moving south toward Tustumena Lake, was reported at 4:15 p.m. Monday.

As of 7:15 p.m., Harrel said no structures are at risk.

Due to the fire’s close proximity to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge water, instead of retardant is being used to fight the fire, Harrel said.

He said at least one helicopter is dumping water on scene. He is uncertain of how many ground units have responded because resources are moving between the Funny River fire and another fire near Tyonek on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion

More in News

Lars Arneson runs to victory and a new event record in the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
A speech, a smartphone and a bike

Circumstances lead Arneson to Kenai River Marathon record

Trees with fall colors populate the Shqui Tsatnu Creek gully as seen from Fourth Avenue on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai to use $770k in grants to remove hazard trees along Shqui Tsatnu Creek

The money will be used to mitigate hazards caused by dead and dying spruce trees over more than 100 acres of city land

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, is shown seated on the House floor on April 29, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
Alaska judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge Jack McKenna on Thursday ordered elections officials to delay certifying the result of that particular race

An image purportedly from the computer screen of a digital media specialist for Gov. Mike Dunleavy shows numerous files and folders of campaign advertising. A complaint filed against the governor, plus other individuals and organizations, claims administrative staff is illegally doing paid campaign work on behalf of the governor. (Screenshot from complaint filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission)
Dunleavy faces more accusations in campaign complaint

Governor calls it “specious and unfounded.”

A recent photo of Anesha "Duffy" Murnane, missing since Oct. 17, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided, Homer Police Department)
A 2019 photo of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, who went missing since Oct. 17, 2019, in Homer. (Photo provided, Homer Police Department)
Calderwood indicted for murder

Indictment charges man accused of killing Anesha “Duffy” Murnane with first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.

Triumvirate Theatre is seen on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. The building burned in a fire on Feb. 20 of that year. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council gives Triumvirate more time to build theater

The Kenai City Council voted last summer to conditionally donate a 2-acre parcel of city land near Daubenspeck Park and the Kenai Walmart

Leaves fall at the Kenai Senior Center on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Senior Center makes plans for $715,000 endowment

The money comes from the Tamara Diane Cone Testamentary Trust

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
On Thursday morning at what police described as an active crime scene, JPD Officer Austin Thomas and Officer Taylor Davis walk the fielded area which was blocked off by crime scene tape. Multiple tents and a police vehicle sat in the field where the tape surrounded, another police vehicle sat in a dirt parking area.
No arrests made as Juneau death investigation continues

Shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday that a woman’s body was found

Damage from the remnants of typhoon Merbok can be seen in Golovin, Alaska, on Sept. 20, 2022. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has requested a federal disaster declaration for areas in western Alaska affected by the storm. (Photo by Jeremy Cubas/Office of the Governor)
Damage from the remnants of typhoon Merbok can be seen in Golovin, Alaska, on Sept. 20, 2022. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has requested a federal disaster declaration for areas in western Alaska affected by the storm. (Photo by Jeremy Cubas/Office of the Governor)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

About 21,000 people living along a 1,000-mile stretch of Alaska’s western coast were affected by the storm

Most Read