Alaskan wildfires

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- While firefighters battled uncertain conditions at the Kenai Lake fire, cooler temperatures and higher humidity were helping to slow the spread of two big wildfires in the Interior.

About 320 firefighters were deployed on the Fish Creek Fire, south of Nenana. Crews were continuing work to secure the northern and southern flanks of the fire, which had grown to about 73,300 acres.

''We're doing the best we can under the circumstances,'' said Pete Buist of the state forestry division.

The Survey Line fire on Fort Wainwright had grown to at least 104,000 acres Wednesday. About 50 firefighters were working to contain a 40-acre portion of that fire burning near private property west of the Wood River.

A second Fort Wainwright fire was burning near the Blair Lakes bombing range facility. That fire, estimated at 1,500 acres, was not considered a threat to resources, said Andy Williams of the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. He said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation.

There were 21 wildfires burning in Alaska on Thursday. Four were staffed and the others were being monitored. So far this year, 272 fires statewide have burned more than 180,000 acres, according to the coordination center.

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