Hot winds are fueling the Sockeye Fire in Alaska, which now covers more than 6,500 acres, authorities said.
The fire was reported near Willow, 80 miles north of Anchorage, on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. when it was just at 2 acres. By 3 p.m. it grew to cover 80 acres, and by 6 p.m., 1,077 acres. On Monday afternoon, authorities said the fire was at 0 percent containment, and as many as 45 structures, mostly primary and secondary homes, were destroyed. Investigators do not yet know what caused the fire.
Vern Halter, who represents Willow on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly, told NBC's affiliate in Anchorage that the "weather is going to control" the fire. Halter visited the scene on Sunday, and said when he saw the flames jump over the highway, "I can honestly say I was scared, because there were flames on both sides and in the ditches." Fire crews and helicopters from across Alaska and British Columbia, federal reinforcements, and 10 hotshot crews from other states are battling the blaze.
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