SOLDOTNA - The King County Creek fire near Skilak Lake on the Kenai Peninsula is growing as fire officials worry about dry conditions and the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The Department of Natural Resources estimated the size of the lightning-caused fire at over 3,000 acres on Tuesday. Wildfire Prevention Officer Sharon Roesch said the fire is basically circular in shape and in an area between the Killy River and the southwest corner of Skilak Lake.
A Type II Incident Management Team arrived Tuesday in Soldotna and assumed management of the fire. More fire suppression resources were being ordered and were expected to arrive sometime Wednesday.
Heavy smoke was reported in the area Tuesday morning, but cleared out by the afternoon.
The Department of Environmental Conservation said air quality was deteriorating in several areas of the state because of wildfires. Those areas included the western Kenai Peninsula, the Sterling Highway, the Anchorage Bowl and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
DEC said the King County Creek Fire had put significant smoke into the air near Sterling. While air quality was good for the peninsula, is was intermittently hazardous near the fire.