September has been a deadly month on the Sterling Highway.
“All year long, on the Sterling Highway, we’ve had six crashes and eight fatalities. All year long. In the last two weeks, we’ve had four of those crashes and six of those fatalities,” said Mike Zweifel, captain of the Alaska State Trooper office in Soldotna. “So really, the bulk of everything we’ve experienced so far in 2023 has happened in these past two weeks.”
Vehicles have crashed from Kasilof to Cooper Landing, closing the highway and drawing dozens of emergency responders to the scenes.
On Labor Day, a woman died in a head-on collision east of Sterling, and a man died after having a medical emergency behind the wheel just outside of Soldotna. On the 8th, a woman and two-year old died in a crash with a cement mixer in Cooper Landing, and two men died in Kasilof on the 15th after a truck behind them failed to slow for a school zone.
KDLL-FM 91.9 Kenai
After a fire broke out on Sunday night in the Chester Creek greenbelt, burning down multiple tents among other things, Assistant Fire Chief Alex Boyd of the Anchorage Fire Department is speaking out about growing concerns with homeless encampment fires.
Sunday’s fire, one in which flames reached 30 to 40 feet high and took roughly 10 minutes to bring under control, was just one of many such fires that AFD has responded to this year.
Boyd says AFD has seen about 360 fires this year that would be classified as “homeless encampments or homeless associated,” with 30 of those being classified as wildland fires. He maintains there have been more visible fires this year as the encampments themselves have grown more visible and built up, something less common than in previous years.
KTUU-TV NBC 2 Anchorage