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Alaska officials close forest areas as wildfire approaches

Last Updated Jul 7, 2019 at 8:21 pm PDT

A brush fire burns in South Anchorage, Alaska, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Alaska officials have closed some forest lands to all uses as a wildfire approached the Chugach National Forest.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday that smoke from the growing Swan Lake wildfire pushed into Anchorage Sunday.

Air quality was listed as “unhealthy” in Anchorage as of 11 a.m. Sunday.

The fire on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska was ignited by a lightning strike June 5 and has been burning in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

A Chugach National Forest official says all of its lands west of the Resurrection Pass Trail are closed from the Resurrection Creek Gold Panning Area to Devil’s Pass Trail.

Areas south of Devin’s Pass Trail are also closed.

Officials say the fire was about 144 square miles (373 square kilometres) Sunday.

The Associated Press