Loren Holmes
Two new wildfires sparked by lightning along the Sterling Highway on the Kenai Peninsula were smoldering Wednesday morning, while residents in the Kenai Keys neighborhood were marveling that their homes remained intact after intensive firefighting efforts.
Bill Roth
Thousands of Alaskans participated in the Mud Factor "Seriously Fun, 5-K Obstacle Run" at Kincaid Park on Sunday, June 14, 2015.
Alex DeMarban

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One Tuesday evening, the Card Street Fire -- seen here from the Funny River side of the Kenai River -- roared toward the neighborhood of Kenai Keys.Despite the intensity of its approach, no homes in the neighborhood were destroyed by the fire Tuesday night -- though one state Fish and Game cabin was lost.Read more: Kenai Peninsula wildfires spread as evacuation order continuesWatch this video on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.
Loren Holmes
The Kenai Peninsula’s Card Street fire grew to an estimated 2,000 acres Tuesday evening as crews continued to battle the blaze that has damaged or destroyed at least 10 structures in the Southcentral town of Sterling.
Alaska Dispatch News

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Alaska Wildlife Trooper Thomas Akelkok spent Tuesday guarding against looters and checking on people who stayed behind despite an evacuation advisory that now covers a 15-mile corridor along the Parks Highway.Akelkok, a Ekwok native who brings a good-natured personality to the job, drove down a long driveway near Capitol Speedway to check on a home. Skeletal charred spruce trees stood like spikes in a moonscape of gray. Occasional whiffs of smoke emerged from the incinerated duff.The trooper came to the house Sunday as the fire bore down to warn the family inside.“Behind me, I could see it in the rearview mirror,” Akelkok said as his pickup bounced down the driveway. “It looked like the road was catching on fire.”He drove through flames to get back out, then learned that a woman remained at the house.Read more: Willow residents defy evacuation advisory as fire advances
Alaska Dispatch News

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The Sockeye Fire burns near Willow, June 14, 2015, footage courtesy of Alaska Division of Forestry.A fast-moving wildfire unfurled near the Southcentral Alaska community of Willow Sunday afternoon, putting fire crews on the defensive, destroying homes, closing a stretch of the Parks Highway and displacing hundreds of residents fleeing from the aggressive blaze.
Marc Lester
As firefighters sweated in hot, windy weather Tuesday, the uncontrolled wildfire that’s burned through more than 7,500 acres around Willow is now the top firefighting priority in the country,
Alaska Dispatch News

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WILLOW -- A wildfire that swallowed homes and prompted a 15-mile-long evacuation order Sunday in and around the Southcentral Alaska community of Willow spent Monday sitting mostly stagnant at about 6,500 acres, though it remained dynamic enough to keep emergency responders on the move.The fire picked up later in the day as erratic winds began whipping it back into action. The Sockeye fire had grown to 8,500 acres as of 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to Vickielee Fenster, a public information officer for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The human cost of the fire also began to emerge, with reports of animals killed in the fast-moving blaze and at least 35 to 45 structures burned. Hundreds of people who fled the fire holed up at shelters north and south of its perimeters, with an estimated 1,700 homes in the evacuation area and thousands of animals displaced by Monday afternoon.Read more: Unpredictable Alaska wildfire keeps firefighters guessing as disaster declared
Laurel Andrews
The Card Street fire, first reported Monday afternoon on the Kenai Peninsula, grew rapidly Monday and was estimated at 1,500 acres by Tuesday afternoon.
Matt Tunseth
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's fish weir stretches the width of Lower Russian Lake where it empties into the Russian River. The department has been using a weir to count fish on the Russian since the late 1960s. 
Here's an update on Dylan, the young Lab from Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center who entered the PAWSitive Connections program at McLauglin Youth Center. 
Erik Hill
Matanuska-Susitna Borough public information officer Stefan Hinman captured dramatic scenes as the Sockeye Fire advanced on Sunday, June 14, 2015, in the Willow area. 

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