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What you need to know about the Sockeye wildfire

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: July 8, 2016
  • Published June 15, 2015

On Sunday, the Sockeye wildfire exploded through the Willow area, torching more than 6,500 acres and displacing hundreds of residents.

Here's a collection of resources for those in the affected areas, travelers and those wishing to aid in response efforts. We'll try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible, but please check with groups and agencies using contact info here, as things may change. If you know of resources that aren't included here, please let us know at

General information

For updated information on the fire, call the Matanuska-Susitna Borough's hotline at 907-761-3700.

The Alaska Division of Forestry releases fire information on its Facebook page, and the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center posts updates at


Matanuska-Susitna Borough is handling evacuations and currently has three emergency shelters -- one south of the fire at Houston Middle School, another east of the fire at North Star Bible Camp on Willow Fishhook Road, and a third to north, at the Upper Susitna Senior Center in Talkeetna.

For information on evacuation, contact the borough's emergency operations center at 907-761-3700

Evacuees can reach the Red Cross of Alaska at 907-357-6060.

Palmer Municipal Airport Manager Jeff Combs has announced that the airport has approximately 50 temporary tie-down spots available at the airport for plane owners affected by the fire. Please call Jeff at 907-761-1324 or 907-863-5742.


The Red Cross of Alaska doesn't allow pets in their shelters, but other groups, including the Sockeye Willow Fire Pet and Home Resource Finder and Chugiak Dog Mushers Association -- are helping owners of pets find assistance.

The Petco store located in Anchorage's Glenn Square shopping Center will be collecting donations of pet food, dog bowls, chain, snap hooks and tarps to help the animals and victims of the fire.


The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities advises travelers intending to take the Parks Highway to call 511 or visit the department's traveler information page first. The alternative route between Fairbanks and Anchorage, via the Richardson and the Glenn highways, avoids the fire area.

How to help

The Red Cross of Alaska doesn't accept donations of clothing or personal items. Instead it suggests making a donation of money, which can be done through the organization's website.

Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue is accepting donations, including of food and supplies, at locations in Anchorage, Palmer and Peters Creek.

Beginning Tuesday, GCI locations in Anchorage and Wasilla will be accepting donations of non-perishable items like clothing, blankets, food, diapers and pet food to be delivered to those affected by the fire.

Access Alaska has wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, crutches, canes, pull-ups, diapers, catheters, diabetic test kits, bathroom aids and other medical equipment available for evacuees to borrow. Call its Anchorage office at 907-248-4777 for more details.

Alaska Health Fair Inc. will also be collecting items to take to those in need. Donations can be dropped off at 720 W. 58th Ave. in Anchorage. They're looking for donations of water, snacks, soap, shampoo, toiletries, blankets, diapers, eye drops, coffee, tea, paper plates and bowls. For additional information call Alaska Health Fair Inc. at 907-278-0234.


Air quality around the fire will vary depending on winds and other factors, officials said.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation updates air quality advisories on the agency's website.

The National Weather Service has issued Red Flag warnings for dangerous fire weather through a broad swath of the state, while Anchorage and Mat-Su have issued burn bans and the Mat-Su has suspended burn permits. The weather service posts updates to fire weather warnings at its main statewide weather site.

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