Fire advances toward Tustumena Lake

Photo courtesy Alaska Division of Forestry This Division of Forestry photo shows smoke from the Funny River Horse Trail fire Monday evening.

Crews battled a wildland blaze near the Funny River Horse Trail, located at Mile 7 of Funny River Road, Monday evening.

The fire had grown to more than 960 acres and was still spreading as of Monday night, said Andy Alexandrou, public information officer for the Division of Forestry.

Firefighters from the Kenai area Division of Forestry and the Chena Interagency Hotshot crew were working the fire. Sam Harrel, Division of Forestry spokesperson, said the Gannett Glacier Fire Crew out of Palmer was en route at of 7:15 p.m.

The fire, which is moving south toward Tustumena Lake, was reported at 4:15 p.m. Monday. As of 7:15 p.m., Harrel said no structures were at risk.

Due to the fire’s proximity to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge water, instead of retardant is being used to fight the fire, Harrel said. He said at least one helicopter was dumping water on scene.

He was uncertain of how many ground units were responding because resources were moving between the Funny River fire and another fire near Tyonek on the west side of Cook Inlet.

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