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wildfire

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

 July 27, 2016 - By Joaqlin Estus, KNBA

Experienced firefighters can earn from $30,000 to $60,000 in a few months, which may seem like a lot of money. But considering their working conditions, and hazards, many would say they earn every bit of their pay. A few dozen Alaskan firefighters are mopping up the McHugh fire south of Anchorage.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

The McHugh fire response is winding down. Five hotshot crews from the lower 48 were demobilized Monday evening. 

Three Alaska crews are mopping up remaining hot spots that were located using an infrared camera on a helicopter flight over the 778-acre fire area just south of Anchorage. Crews are putting a 300-foot containment line around the fire. They removed protective equipment from the Potter Valley and Rainbow Valley subdivisions on Monday.

Arial footage shows extent of McHugh fire

Jul 26, 2016

Here's a link to some arial footage of the McHugh fire with narration from a firefighter's perspective. It shows the setting of the fire amid steep mountains near Cook Inlet, its location and size, as well as a a helicopter dropping water, and Dall sheep grazing near burned out areas.

Outgoing Mayor Dan Sullivan packs

By Zachariah Hughes, APRN

Today [July 1] marks the end of Dan Sullivan's six years as mayor of Anchorage. As Sullivan packed up his office in city hall, he spoke with told KSKA reporter Zachariah Hughes about what he'll keep.

Sullivan often calls himself the "CEO of the City," and has an equally candid, business-like approach to administrative transition, saying, “There's nothing magic about it."

Fire danger remains high

Cooler weather is helping fire crews, and there have been no new evacuations. However 314 fires are burning in Alaska, and fire danger remains high.  Eight fires, consuming 190-thousand acres are burning near the village of Tanana, which is under voluntary evacuation. Those fires are zero percent contained.

The Rex Complex fire  near Anderson, at 16-thousand acres, is 15% contained. 

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State assistance applications available

  Alaska's largest tribe is boycotting FedEx, a sponsor of the Washington, D.C. NFL team whose name and mascot many consider derogatory to Native Americans. The Juneau Empire reports the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Thursday that it has told tribal employees use of FedEx services will be discontinued.  FedEx is one of the team's top sponsors and owns naming rights to the Washington D.C. stadium. 

Wayside closures will affect travelers on Glenn, Richardson and Tok Cutoff highways

Volunteers from Galena 40 miles upriver from Nulato are taking boats to Nulato to help with the evacuation. The fire was sparked by lightning on Sunday just a mile from the village of 270. 

Cart St. fire near Sterling on the Kenai Peninsula is now 25 percent contained after burning 11 structures. The Sockeye fire near Willow, 40 miles north of Anchorage, is 79 percent contained after burning 26 homes. 

A break in Alaska's unseasonably warm weather is helping firefighters fight fires in Southcentral Alaska. The Sockeye fire is 73% contained after burning 26 homes. Evacuees are returning to the burn area. 

Gov. Bill Walker declared a state disaster in response to damage from fires on the Kenai Peninsula.

About 200 people in Juneau met in a suicide prevention conference that started with information about the link between strong trauma and suicide, and discussions of how to provide children with care that helps build resilience.. 

Stefan Hinman, Public Information Officer / Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Evacuation area reduced, and opened to homeowners who lost homes

  By Liz Ruskin, APRN

Managers of the Sockeye Fire near Willow plan to begin letting residents back into the evacuation area today. At 10 this morning, the evacuation zone will be reduced to the fire perimeter line, controlled by nine security checkpoints. Homeowners who have lost homes will be let into the fire zone starting at 11. The evacuation is set to end entirely on Saturday but security checkpoints will remain in place through the weekend.

Nikiski Fire Dept.

      By Phillip Manning, KTNA and Liz Ruskin, APRN

Some 500 firefighters working around the clock are making good progress on the Sockeye fire near Willow, which is holding steady at just over 7-thousand-500 acres.

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