Wildfire smoke delays traffic on popular highway in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Smoke from an Alaska wildfire is interrupting traffic on a highway to one of the state’s busiest tourist destinations.

The Alaska Interagency Management Team says travelers should expect continued delays on the Kenai Peninsula’s Sterling Highway due to heavy smoke.

The highway south of Anchorage leads to popular salmon fishing destinations on the lower Kenai River and halibut fishing in Homer and other coastal communities.

Northwest winds Sunday pushed the fire past an established fire line. Firefighters moved to safe areas when smoke obscured the flaming front.

The fire was estimated to be 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the highway.

Fire officials said drivers could expect delays for a 17-mile (27-kilometer) stretch east of the community of Sterling.

Hot and dry weather pattern is predicted for several more days.

AP-WF-06-24-19 1858GMT