Alaska Wildfire Spurs Evacuations As It Continues To Grow - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Alaska Wildfire Spurs Evacuations As It Continues To Grow

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UPDATE: ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A massive, wind-whipped wildfire in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula is growing after evacuation orders were issued, but fire managers are hoping rains forecast for Tuesday will help crews gain a handle on the blaze.

The Funny River Fire covered nearly 248 square miles as of Monday morning and was 30 percent contained.

Fire management team spokesman Willie Begay says no injuries or structure damage has been reported. Authorities Sunday ordered the evacuation of 1,000 homes and other structures in the sparsely populated area 60 miles south of Anchorage.

Begay says the weather forecast for the area calls for rain Tuesday and Wednesday.

A Red Cross shelter was set up Sunday in Soldotna. Spokeswoman Beth Bennett says a second shelter was set to open in the community of Sterling on Monday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Officials say a massive wildfire burning in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage has grown in windy conditions and mandatory evacuations are underway.

Alaska Interagency Management Team spokeswoman Michelle Weston says 1,000 structures are in the area under evacuation, but she doesn't have a number of people who were told to flee their homes.

She says the fire was recently nearly 218 square miles and has grown significantly. She didn't immediately have an estimated size.

The Funny River Fire is named after a road near its northern edge where all residents are being evacuated. She says no injuries were reported, and it's unclear if any buildings were damaged.

She says Alaska State Troopers are going door to door, evacuating an area that's mostly second homes and home to many retirees.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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