Since Aug. 17, the McKinley fire has burned 3,288 acres along the Parks Highway and traveled about seven miles from its suspected starting point near Mile 91.
“Fire progression has stopped,” said Eric Lepisto, a division supervisor at the McKinley fire, and firefighters are working on “more of an interior mission right now." As of Saturday, the fire was 95% contained, fire officials said.
Fire crews are focusing their efforts on structures, identifying remaining hot spots and removing trees that may be hazardous to returning property owners, Lepisto said.
Infrared cameras, hand-held and drone-mounted, are being used to identify dangerous patches of heat in the interior of the fire scar, while other firefighters are using hand tools and hose lines to root out the deep-burning fire.
“It is a slow process,” Lepisto said.