ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A prescribed fire in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Sterling has successfully burned 585 acres of black spruce forest.
Refuge managers said Wednesday that crews were able to ignite one of two planned fires on Saturday, but rain Sunday prevented the second 450-acre fire.
Saturday's blaze was contained except for a few small spot fires along Mystery Creek Road, which were quickly put out.
Despite the recent rain, s ome duff and wood in the fire zone should continue to smolder, which may produce more smoke. Refuge managers said staff will patrol the area until the fire is out.
Setting controlled fires in the Mystery Creek Road area is intended to clear a large fire break in the event a future wildfire and to improve moose habitat.
The refuge's goal is to clear 5,000 acres. It will attempt more controlled burns if suitable conditions occur again this summer.
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