The Funny River Fire, named for a nearby road on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, began on May 19 and has expanded to 243 square miles over the holiday weekend. The Alaskan wildfire was just 30 percent contained as Monday evening.
Michelle Weston, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Interagency Incident Management team, told the Associated Press that high winds and dry conditions are contributing to the fire. Although it is not unusual to see early-season wildfires, the size and speed of the Funny River Fire are both above average.
Nearly 600 firefighters—many of whom flew in from Montana, Oregon, and Canada—are assisting with containment efforts. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but officials suspect human action and an investigation is pending.
Image of a simular Alaskan wildfire taken by John McColgan, a member of the Alaska Forest Service.