Chena Hot Springs evacuated as fire advances - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Chena Hot Springs evacuated as fire advances

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Evacuations have begun for the Chena Hot Springs Resort and residences along Chena Hot Springs Road from Mile 48 to Mile 56.

The Munsun Creek Fire picked up strength Monday afternoon as the wind changed, influencing the fire behavior. The growth of the fire is to the east of Chena Hot Springs.

No structures have been lost, the Alaska Division of Forestry reports. Chena Hot Springs owner Bernie Karl said he was not planning to evacuate, and will shelter in place, although some guests and staff are leaving.

With two well-developed smoke columns behind the hot springs showing the fire advancing toward the resort, Division of Forestry public information officers advised people to evacuate because visibility could decline and make leaving later problematic.

Firefighters were cutting fire breaks behind the hot springs but were pulled back and are now focused on protecting structures around the resort and at homes and cabins along Chena Hot Springs Road.

More resources have been ordered for the fire, including additional engines and crews to assist with structure protection, the division reported. Pumps, hoses and sprinklers have been set up around structures at the resort and around cabins/homes down to Mile 52 Chena Hot Springs Road. Crews will be setting up additional structure protection measures around homes as far west as Mile 48.

Security personnel are being ordered to patrol the area to protect vacant cabins and homes due to the evacuation.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Fairbanks air today was very dirty. All from CHS fire. And our idiot environmentalists in the area tell us that the private woodstoves give us our dirtiest air. Seriously low IQ people.

  • My wife and I ask Alaskans to offer up a prayer for the dedicated firefighters that are in harm’s way fighting this fire. Our son Ryan is on the fire brigade fighting to protect life and property!

    We thank you in advance!

    The Bieling Family

  • There is a post with pictures going around saying the owner of the resort, Bernie, was refusing to evacuate when people went there with horse trailers to help them leave. The owner refused to send his horses out and told employees if they left they would be fired. Suzanne, it would be great if you could look into this and check the veracity of it please?

  • I live on CHSR – First, No wifi & cell phone service. The only reason the order to evacuate was received my me… was back in town to get cutting edge information on the fire.
    2. The staff of the resort are told not to alarm the public……”Oh the fire is miles away” “no worries” “it will never reach CHSR” – bull!!! What about the breathing hazard?

    3. The fake town Hall meeting was a parrot show…Again, unknown assembly info due to lack of cell phone signal.

    There will be future fires…..why not build a signal tower so local residents can get information?

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