High water on Southcentral Alaska rivers, and an interior wildfire are keeping emergency managers busy after a week of warm, sunny weather.
Several waterways near Anchorage are swollen and near flood-stage, though by Monday evening forecasters expected levels to drop.
The unusually high levels on Eagle River, Campbell Creek, Ship Creek, and others are the result of very mild weather last week, which quickly melted snow and glaciers at higher elevations, causing a torrent downstream, The National Weather Service said.
“We had a very hefty snowpack and then we had a pretty cool spring,” said Ben Balk, NWS hydrologist.
Now that it's cloudy and cool, water levels are decreasing and so too is the risk of flooding.
"That should suppress a lot of the snow and glacier melt," Balk said.
The only reports of damage came from near Seward, where a couple homes close to creeks took on water, the Kenai Peninsula Borough said.
BEAR CREEK FIRE
Roughly 80 miles south of Fairbanks, the hot start to summer helped fuel the Bear Creek fire, which burned close to 20,000 acres along the Parks Highway.
“It is threatening several subdivisions,” said Jim Schwarber, spokesman for the Division of Forestry.
There were reports that the fire line was less than a mile from at least 2 structures, and a voluntary evacuation is in effect for some nearby property owners, Schwarber said.
The Bear Creek fire is now the state’s top priority wildfire, with more firefighters on the way. Damp weather is forecasted for the rest of the week.
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