Tok wildlife stalled, but still dangerous

Posted: Tuesday, June 03, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A wildfire near Tok stalled Monday but residents were still warned to be prepared to evacuate quickly if conditions worsened.

Firefighters focused their efforts Monday on the southwest area, where the fire made a run toward the Glenn Highway and a Tok subdivision. The fire's progress slowed in the southwest area Monday.

Division of Forestry spokesman Pete Buist said the situation had improved. Crews successfully stalled the fire before it hit the highway or the nearby subdivision Sunday. Crews continued to focus on the area, where houses were still in some danger, Buist said.

Alaska State Troopers warned Tok residents late Saturday they may have to evacuate if things got much worse. But the wind shifted and the fire slowed no longer putting the houses in immediate danger.

An evacuation was lifted for residents of a small subdivision on the Tok Cutoff five miles southeast of Tok. Sixteen residences in the subdivision were asked to evacuate Saturday when the fire came to about a mile from the road. Buist said none did.

About 130 residents attended a community meeting Sunday evening in the Tok School Auditorium to get more information on the fire.

Residents are still under notice to be prepared to get out quickly, if necessary.

Buist said by Monday the fire, which began last Tuesday, had scorched more than 4,800 acres but was still between five and seven miles south of the city of Tok.

Most of the 700 acres that burned between Sunday and Monday were in the southeast area.

Buist said the priority is in the southwest area, where the highway is located.

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