Saturday, May 16, 2009

Homer Wildfire Now 50 Percent Contained, A Third Home Destroyed, Evacuation Order Cancelled

As a result of scattered showers and higher humidity, crews are making significant progress in fighting the wildfire burning in a 1.7 square mile area 15 miles east of Homer, although a third home has been destroyed. The fire, currently 50 percent contained, has been reduced to just smoldering, and is expected to be 65 percent contained by nightfall. The total number of firefighters involved now is 245. An advisory evacuation was canceled. KTUU Channel 2 story HERE; news video embedded below:

Anchorage Daily News collection of 23 photos HERE.

A reminder of the risk to firefighters: On Saturday afternoon, a firefighter sustained injuries to his leg and had to be medevacked out. The rain which has fallen in the area has made the rough terrain slippery, posing just one more challenge.

Local people are donating generously for the 245 firefighters who helped save so many homes. "We've had anything from moose meat chili to different chilis, different soups," volunteer Valda Ziemelis said. "We've had drinks and sandwiches and hams, and we're even getting salmon tonight."

The Homer News, which provided excellent coverage during the week, is closed on weekends, so no new stories available from them.

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