Copper Basin fire grows to nearly 1,200 acres

A wildfire in the Copper River Basin had grown to nearly 1,200 acres by Thursday afternoon, and temporary flight restrictions have been imposed west of Lake Louise.

The Tabert Lake fire was started by lightning on July 31 and is burning in a sparsely populated area west of Lake Louise and Little Lake Louise. Smoke has been visible in the western part of the basin, according to reports Thursday from state and federal fire managers.

Weather conditions have been unusally hot and dry, and firefighters have been attacking the fire with airplanes dropping retardant and water. By Thursday, the fire was considered "mildy active" on its western perimeter, with the fire smoldering within the perimeter, according to Maggie Rogers, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Forestry. Forecasts are calling for cooler, damper conditions through next week, which should slow the fire, she said in an update emailed on Thursday afternoon.

Flight restrictions are in place over the fire to 5,000 feet, and doesn't include the Lake Louise airstrip, Rogers said.

An incident command center has been set up at The Point Lodge on Lake Louise Road, and a public meeting for residents is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Lake Louise Lodge.

Updates on the fire are being posted at:

Anchorage Daily News /