Authorities evacuate communities threatened by Stuart Creek 2 wildfire

July 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

FAIRBANKS, Alaska, July 8 (UPI) -- More than 800 people have been evacuated from communities threatened the Stuart Creek 2 wildfire burning in Alaska, authorities said.

As of Sunday, the fire, which started June 19, had burned 40,249 acres northeast of Fairbanks and was zero percent contained, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Authorities began evacuating residents and businesses between Chena Hot Springs Road mileposts 18 and 34 about 1 p.m. Sunday, said Michelle Weston, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.

About 843 residents and 434 structures have been evacuated, along with dogs and livestock, Weston said.

Alaska Fire Service spokesman Mel Slater said the fire was sparked by an army artillery exercise on Fort Wainwright land.

There are 94 wildfires currently burning in Alaska that have so far affected more than a million acres of land, Weston said.

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