Evacuation order still in effect as Clear Fire burns almost 53k acres in Interior Alaska

Community meeting to be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Anderson Fire Hall
The Clear Fire continues to threaten homes near Anderson, even as firefighting crews cleared brush and maintained fire breaks between the fire and existing stru
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 3:20 PM AKDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 8:50 PM AKDT
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ANDERSON, Alaska (KTUU) - The Clear Fire continues to threaten homes near Anderson, even as firefighting crews cleared brush and maintained fire breaks between the fire and existing structures.

Late Wednesday evening, the Division of Forestry updated the evacuation status of residents living near the Clear Fire. The Bureau of Land Management’s Alaska fire service urged anyone with an evacuation status of “go” to leave their homes immediately. Late last week, fire officials dealing with the Clear Fire said 155 people are living in 140 structures in the area that is considered threatened. They said at the time that 130 people are sheltering in place. The fire now has torched 52,987 acres, according to an incident report filed by fire officials, and is still only 8% contained.

“There is significant fire activity on the west side of the Kobe Ag Subdivision,” the fire service wrote. “Fire has breached the east-west dozer line running parallel with Kobe Road and the north-south dozer line along the west side of the subdivision. Fire is traveling from the south side of the subdivision moving north. 𝐆𝐎 𝐍𝐎𝐖.”

According to a blog post by fire officials, fire activity was minimal on Tuesday, with the most growth occurring on the southeast side of the blaze, which is where homes stand in the Kobe subdivision near the Parks Highway. A community meeting to disseminate updated information is planned for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Anderson Fire Hall, located at 911 D Street. The meeting is also planned to be streamed on the Alaska Division of Forestry Facebook page.

Those homes, as well as any cabins within two miles of the fire perimeter, have been put into “go” status, meaning they are advised to evacuate. The communities of Anderson, Clear and all areas west of the Nenana River have been given the “set” status.

According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, 11 new fires have flared up since Tuesday, joining a list that now includes 227 active fires, including 18 that are staffed by 1,108 personnel. Wildfires have burned a total of 2,371,222 acres this year. The state eclipsed 2 million acres burned on Monday.

Another Interior Alaska fire, the Minto Lakes Fire, is also causing concern in rural communities. An update posted by officials Wednesday showed the fire at 34,386 acres and no containment, with 289 personnel working on it.

A community meeting will also be held for residents living around the Chatanika River and Murphy Dome areas. The meeting is planned for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Haystack Laundry and Showers on Haystack Drive, just north of Fairbanks.

The Denali National Park and Preserve issued a press release that the Yentna Fire is burning an estimated 5-7 acres on the south side of the Alaska Range in Denali National Park. The Yentna Fire was discovered on July 3 south of the Yentna Glacier west of Peterstville by approximately 36 miles.

“Wildfires in this area are rare; this is only the fourth fire discovered south of Broad Pass of the Alaska Range within Denali National Park and Preserve,” the release said.

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