In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 photo, Sen. Chris Birch, R-Anchorage, listens to other senators during a Senate session at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. Birch, a former state House member who also served on the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Anchorage assemblies, has died, his family said in a statement Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. He was 68. Birch died Wednesday, Aug. 7 of a torn or ruptured aorta after experiencing chest pains and being taken to an Anchorage hospital, the family said. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 photo, Sen. Chris Birch, R-Anchorage, listens to other senators during a Senate session at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. Birch, a former state House member who also served on the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Anchorage assemblies, has died, his family said in a statement Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. He was 68. Birch died Wednesday, Aug. 7 of a torn or ruptured aorta after experiencing chest pains and being taken to an Anchorage hospital, the family said. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

Republican state Sen. Chris Birch dies

Birch was elected to the Anchorage Senate seat that had been held by Republican Kevin Meyer.

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This photo of the Caribou Lake fire was taken about 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, northeast of Homer, Alaska, about two hours after Ian Pitzman texted a message reporting the fire to his wife, Stephanie Pitzman, via an inReach satellite communication device. (Photo by Ian Pitzman)
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The updated Swan Lake Fire Map for Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management)
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Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
                                A helicopter flies over the North Fork fire as it burns near the south end of the North Fork Road on Sunday evening, Aug. 18, 2019, near Homer, Alaska, as seen from Diamond Ridge Road.
Caribou Lake Fire outside Homer continues to threaten

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Residents attend a community meeting to discuss the Swan Lake Fire in Sterling, on Thursday. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
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This map shows the Swan Lake Fire on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska as of Aug. 22, 2019. (Photo courtesy Great Basin Incident Management Team 1)
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The latest infrared mapping puts the fire at 142,542 acres.

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