- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A break in Alaska’s unseasonably high temperatures is helping firefighters battle fires that threatened two communities.

A fire near Sterling on the Kenai Peninsula continues to burn east into federal refuge land. The fire began June 14 and is 20 percent contained, with 324 people working on it. The fire destroyed 11 structures but remained Sunday at 12 square miles.

Wildfire officials say the fire that burned 26 homes in Willow about 40 miles north of Anchorage is 53 percent contained.

About 733 people are fighting the fire. The last evacuation notice was lifted Saturday night but only residents are being allowed past security checkpoints into the fire perimeter.

Alaska as of Sunday morning had 394 wildfires, including 146 that remain active. The fires have covered 278 square miles.

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