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Caribou Hills fire case postponed two weeks

Posted: Friday, February 22, 2008

A two-week continuance was granted Thursday to the California man charged in the Caribou Hills wildfire that blackened more than 55,000 acres last summer and destroyed at least 53 cabins.

Defense attorney Chuck Robinson, speaking telephonically, said he has been waiting for dismissal documents from the Kenai District Attorney's office.

Representing the state on Thursday, assistant district attorney Kelly Lawson said, "I don't have any information on that."

Kenai District Court Magistrate Jerry Anderson on Thursday set a new trial call date for March 6.

Partridge, 61, was cited by the Alaska Division of Forestry on June 26 with one count of uncontrolled spread of fire after sparks from a grinder he was using to sharpen a shovel June 19 ignited grass and the fire spread off the property where he was working, according to the charging document.

A former Soldotna resident, Partridge said he was helping build a cabin for his son in the Caribou Hills area east of Ninilchik.

High winds and low humidity fanned the blaze, which eventually burned at least 53 cabins and residences, 79 outbuildings and 55,648 acres.

Firefighters worked more than two weeks to contain the fire.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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