Red flag fire danger warning is issued

Because of high temperatures and low humidity, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning until 10 p.m. Monday for most of Southcentral Alaska, including the western Kenai Peninsula. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are imminent or occurring now or will shortly. Temperatures are in the upper 70s to high 80s north of Clam Gulch and in the upper 60s to mid 70s south of Clam Gulch.

The Alaska Division of Forestry and the Homer Volunteer Fire Department have rated the fire danger status as extreme in the Kenai-Soldotna area and very high for the lower Kenai Peninsula. They also have issued a burn suspension for the entire peninsula. This includes burn barrels. Campfires are allowed as long as they are built on sand, soil or gravel, have a minimum of 10 feet around the fire clear of combustible materials and flame lengths are no more than 3-feet high. A container of water must be present and the fire must be completely extinguished.

The evening forecast for the lower Kenai Peninsula calls for clear with areas of smoke with lows in the mid 40s to lower 50s, variable wind to 10 mph and inlet breezes to 15 mph in the evening.

The smoke is coming from the Sockeye Fire burning on the west side of Parks Highway south of Willow Creek near Miles 71-77 and estimated at 6,500 acres as of late Sunday night.