Firefighters battle 61-acre blaze near Hope

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Friday, May 22, 2015 1:56pm
  • News

This is a breaking news story that will be updated periodically. 

Updated at 8 p.m. Saturday

Fire officials are reporting that the burn has been contained. 

Assistant Zone Fire Management Officer Nicole Longfellow said on Saturday that firefighters had gained control of the fire around 4:30 p.m. on Friday. 

While the fire is contained, it has not yet been fully extinguished, Longfellow said. Firefighters are still working to put it out fully.

Firefighters are battling a 61-acre burn near Hope that, thus far, is the largest blaze of the season for the Kenai Peninsula.

The fire was discovered Thursday and should soon be contained, but will be monitored throughout the weekend according to State forestry public information officer Andy Alexandrou.

Initial reports were that it may have been an abandoned campfire, he said.

While state Division of Forestry personnel in Soldotna typically would have responded to help with the fire, they were busy with another that started Thursday on Wilderness Way near Homer. The Homer fire — an escaped un-permitted burn — consumed less than an acre and has since been extinguished, Alexandrou said. 

Chugach National Forest Public Affairs Officer Margin Warthin said the fire, called the Palmer Creek fire, started near the Coeur D’alene campground off Upper Palmer Creek Road.

The campground, which has six walk-in tent sites, is located off of the Hope Highway at Milepost 16.2, according to the U.S. Forest Service website.

One fire engine and field crew responded Thursday and another was added Friday, Warthin said. There are about 18 personnel working the fire including a state Division of Forestry helicopter providing bucket drops, she said.

Warthin said the fire would “likely be contained” by Friday and is not currently threatening any structures or the campground. While investigators are looking into the exact cause of the blaze, Warthin said it was clear that it was human-caused but the circumstances are not clear.

“It is under investigation,” Warthin said.

Both Alexandrou and Warthin said people should be aware of the high fire danger on the Kenai Peninsula.

Near Hope, the terrain is mostly alpine valley, hemlock and spruce trees. While the area is typically wetter, Alexandrou said, it has been dry enough to sustain the fire.

“We haven’t had a winter to speak of weather-wise,” he said.


Reach Rashah McChesney at or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens




More in News

Alaska Rep. David Eastman, a Republican from Wasilla, sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Alaska lawmakers are discussing whether to sanction Eastman who is also a member of the Oath Keepers far-right paramilitary organization according to the Anchorage Daily News. Eastman, who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, confirmed with the Associated Press, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, that he joined the Oath Keepers a little over 12 years ago, “along with 38,000 others who have committed to honoring oaths we have taken.” (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
State lawmaker could be sanctioned over Oath Keeper ties

Eastman was identified as a “life member” of the Oath Keepers last year

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
As cases surge, public health officials contemplate how to live with virus

Contact tracing and data collection will have to be reworked if COVID is here to stay

Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone can be seen on this map provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Image via
Soldotna approves filing of EEZ lawsuit brief

The lawsuit seeks to reopen commercial salmon fishing in the Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney, bottom left, spoke to UA students in a virtual forum on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and was joined by several UA administrators including UA Southeast President Karen Carey, bottom left, and UA Anchorage Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz, top left. At top right, an American Sign Language professional provides translation services. (Screenshot)
UA President: University has turned a corner on funding

System sees modest increase in budget for first time in years

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, spoke to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor’s optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers welcome tone change in governor’s address

With caveats on financials, legislators optimistic about working together

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID deaths, hospitalizations climb statewide

The total number of statewide COVID deaths is nearly equivalent to the population of Funny River.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Restrictions on sport fishing announced

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced summer sport fishing regulations Wednesday

Community agencies administer social services to those in need during the Project Homeless Connect event Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘It’s nice to be able to help folks’

Project Homeless Connect offers services, supplies to those experiencing housing instability

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce attends the March 2, 2021, borough assembly meeting at the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former talk-show host to manage Pierce gubernatorial campaign

Jake Thompson is a former host of KSRM’s Tall, Dark and Handsome Show and Sound-off talk-show

Most Read