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Rapidly-growing 3,000-acre Wildfire Burning on Army Training Range near Fort Greely

Tim Ellis/KUAC

Updated: The wildfire burning on an Army training range seven miles southwest of Fort Greely has grown to 3,000 acres since Tuesday, according to BLM-Alaska Fire Service's latest estimate.

BLM-Alaska Fire Service officials on Wednesday night revised their earlier estimate that the Oregon Lakes Impact Area Fire had grown to 4,000 acres.

The fire is burning in a remote spot west of the Delta River that was burned over by the 2013 Mississippi Fire. The impact area is littered with unexploded ordnance dropped by warplanes during training.

The Oregon Lakes fire was reported Tuesday by Range Control personnel who manage the Donnelly Training Area near Fort Greely.

The fire kicked up tall columns of smoke that are visible throughout the area. The smoke drifted into the Delta Junction area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Credit BLM-Alaska Fire Service
A BLM-Alaska Fire Service aerial photo shows where the Oregon Lakes Impact Area Fire started in an area west of the Delta River, and how winds out of the south and southwest have pushed it northward.

A BLM-Alaska Fire Service spokesperson said rain forecast for today will likely slow or halt its progress.

The spokesperson said the fire service will continue to monitor the fire and work to contain it on Army-administered land.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.