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.