Fire spreads through beetle-killed Alaska trees

A wildfire burning on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula exploded in size Tuesday, jumping sixfold from 50 acres to 300 in a matter of hours as it crept close to some buildings. Several clusters of buildings were reported to be within a half-mile of the Homestead Fire, which was pushing east under westerly winds about 10 miles north of Anchor Point, said Bruce Richards of the state Division of Forestry.

Flames tore through dried grass and stands of logging-slashed and beetle-killed trees and ran into little natural resistance as the fire ripped through an area east of Happy Valley, the division said.

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