A fast-moving wildfire north of Anchorage, Alaska is forcing evacuations as it continued to grow as of late Monday night.
The so-called Sockeye Fire has forced evacuations in the town of Willow, Alaska, about 50 miles north of Anchorage, where at least 12 homes had been lost to the fires, the Alaska Dispatch News reported late Monday.
The Parks Highway, the primary link between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska’s two largest cities, has been closed due to the fires, the smoke of which could be seen from Anchorage.
A zero tolerance burn ban is in effect for Anchorage, which received just 25.1″ of snow this winter, nearly 50″ below its seasonal average. That lack of snowfall is being blamed for helping create the conditions for the fire, which had burned about 6,500 acres, as of late Monday.
Alaska experienced its warmest May on record, with temperatures averaging 44.9° statewide during the month, a full 7.1° above average.
Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are expected to aid firefighting efforts over the next few days.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Photo: forestry.alaska.gov