Firefighters battle blaze near Anderson

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Firefighters continued to gain an upper hand on a wildfire near Anderson that consumed three buildings, state fire officials said late Tuesday.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 4 miles from a subdivision, and residents were evacuated, according to Pete Buist with the Alaska Division of Forestry. Fast winds fanned the blaze.

By Tuesday the winds had subsided, but not before the fire burned about 1,000 acres.

Winds as brisk as 20 mph were expected on Tuesday evening, Buist said.

Buist said the fire was running and spotting through black spruce in an area where the Parks Highway crosses the Nenana River.

The river served as a natural barrier for the east flank of the blaze, while the north flank was slowed when it reached the site of a 1991 fire, Buist said. Fire crews focused much of their efforts Tuesday on creating a fire line along the vulnerable west flank, Buist said.

The fire was blamed on a smoldering burn pile that spread into the woods, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.

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