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

Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bucket trees take top award at 34th Caring for the Kenai

A solution to help campers safely and successfully extinguish their fires won… Continue reading

Children work together to land a rainbow trout at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sport show returns next weekend

The 37th Annual Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show will be… Continue reading

Alaska Press Club awards won by Ashlyn O’Hara, Jeff Helminiak and Jake Dye are splayed on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion’s newsroom in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Clarion writers win 9 awards at Alaska Press Club conference

The Clarion swept the club’s best arts and culture criticism category for the 2nd year in a row

Exit Glacier, as seen in August 2015 from the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
6 rescued after being stranded in Harding Ice Field

A group of six adult skiers were rescued after spending a full… Continue reading

City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and City Manager Terry Eubank present “State of the City” at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Mayor, city manager share vision at Kenai’s ‘State of the City’

At the Sixth Annual State of the City, delivered by City of… Continue reading

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District unions call for ‘walk-in’ school funding protest

The unions have issued invitations to city councils, the borough assembly, the Board of Education and others

House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Kenai City Hall is seen on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai water treatment plant project moves forward

The city will contract with Anchorage-based HDL Engineering Consultants for design and engineering of a new water treatment plant pumphouse

Students of Soldotna High School stage a walkout in protest of the veto of Senate Bill 140 in front of their school in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi students walk out for school funding

The protest was in response to the veto of an education bill that would have increased school funding

Most Read