ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A wildfire chewing through the forest of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula has expanded in size, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of 1,000 structures, officials said.
The massive fire south of Anchorage covered nearly 243 square miles and was 30 percent contained, according to a posting Sunday night on the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team’s Facebook page. It was burning in the 1.9 million-acre Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
The number of people told to flee their homes isn’t clear, said Michelle Weston, spokeswoman with Management Team, which includes the state Division of Forestry and federal and local officials.
The Funny River Fire is named after a nearby road where all residents were being evacuated. She says Alaska State Troopers were going door to door, evacuating an area that’s mostly second homes and is home to many retirees.
She says no injuries were reported, and it’s unclear if any buildings were damaged.
She said erratic fire behavior driven by high winds and extremely dry conditions allowed the flames to grow.
Earlier Sunday, the fire spanned 193 square miles and was 20 percent contained.
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