"July 8 News: Wildfires — In Alaska — Force Evacuations Of People And Sled Dogs"
A wildfire sparked by an Army artillery exercise burned close to the communities of Two Rivers and Pleasant Valley on Sunday, forcing an evacuation of hundreds of people and animals in the heart of Alaska’s Interior dog mushing country.
The Stuart Creek 2 fire, which started on June 19 but flared up last week, had burned 40,249 acres northeast of Fairbanks largely on Fort Wainwright land as of Sunday morning and was zero percent contained, said Michelle Weston, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.
At 1 p.m. Sunday, the head of the firefighting team in charge and the Fairbanks North Star Borough asked residents and businesses between Chena Hot Springs Road Mileposts 18 and 34 to evacuate, Weston said.
By Sunday afternoon, 843 residents and 434 structures had been evacuated, along with scores of sled dogs and livestock, Weston said. The Tanana Valley Fairgrounds had taken in dog teams, a horse, chickens, turkeys and a “big pig” as of Sunday night, according to an incident command Twitter feed.
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