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Alaska News

Photos: Residents evacuated as Funny River fire rapidly grows in size

  • Author:
  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published May 26, 2014

On Moose Ridge Avenue, just to the south of Browns Lake, John Hohl spent Saturday afternoon working frantically, clearing small trees away from the cabin where he and his wife live, a home they've built over the last eight years. He said he'd worked almost straight through the last four days, sleeping no more than eight hours total.

A friend, Sam Werner, felled spruce after spruce with a chainsaw as Hohl and his brother Levi tossed them into a pickup truck, unloading a few dozen yards down the dirt road that runs past the house.

A neighbor with his own pickup, Dan Desmarais, hauled a tank back and forth from his home on nearby Browns Lake, spraying water atop Hohl's cabin and the surrounding land.

Meanwhile, huge plumes of smoke were shooting up half a mile away, where the fire was burning up to a line firefighters had cleared and sprayed with retardant -- with no guarantee the line would hold.

"We're going to clear until they tell us we can't be here," Hohl said.

Read more: Emotions run high for Kenai Peninsula residents living under wildfire's cloud

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