Wildfire near Kashwitna contained

Posted: Monday, May 05, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Firefighters brought a wildfire near Kashwitna under control with the help of air tankers dropping fire retardant.

A private pilot spotted the fire Saturday just south of the Kashwitna River, on the east side of the Parks Highway. A state fire crew responded by helicopter, and air tankers dropped three loads of fire retardant to knock down the fire, Division of Forestry spokesman Kevin Koechlein said.

The Mat-Su crew spent the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday containing the blaze, he said.

It isn't known how the fire began, though an investigation has started.

Firefighters also responded Sunday to a brush-pile fire near Sutton that got away from a homeowner. It burned about one-tenth of an acre, Koechlein said.

Dry, windy conditions have triggered a ban on all open burning in most of Southcentral and Interior Alaska. Affected areas include the Mat-Su area, the Kenai Peninsula, the Copper River basin and the Fairbanks area.

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