Growing Alaska Funny River wildfire prompts evacuation orders

By Kyle Johnson,

Evacuations were ordered as a wildfire in Alaska continues to grow, with about 1,000 buildings possibly in its path.

Though the Funny River wildfire has burned about 250 square miles in southern Alaska, partially in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Willie Begay spoke positively and said that firefighters have managed to get the blaze about 30 percent contained, according to Reuters.

Begay said that nearly 600 firefighters were working to put out the fire, having increased containment from about 20 percent on Sunday when the fire had only consumed about 172 square miles. The fire's growth has been spurred on by wind and a lack of rain in the area.

"Once it catches fire the wind in those areas, it's pretty fast-moving," said the spokesman, but noted that southern Alaska could potentially see rains in the coming days.

The Associated Press reports that no structures have burned yet and there have been no reports of injuries as a result of the wildfire. CNN notes that it is believed that the fire is man-made, but officials say they are still investigating.

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