Cooler weather aids Interior firefighters

Posted: Friday, June 30, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- More than 300 firefighters battling an Interior blaze got a bit of a break Thursday as cooler temperatures and some rain slowed a fire near Anderson that has already scorched 2,600 acres.

''It's been considerably cooler, and there were some showers today,'' said Andy Williams of the Alaska Interagency Fire Coordination Center on Thursday. ''Some of the fires got heavy rain yesterday.''

The National Weather Service expects cooler temperatures to prevail in the region over the next few days

Crews extended a fireline around the southern end of the fire, where there is a small subdivision. The blaze, about five miles west of Anderson, is considered about 15 percent contained. It was started by lightning on Saturday.

Firefighters were working at five other blazes Thursday and monitoring others.

One fire southwest of Manley covered nearly 74,000 acres. Firefighters were doing cabin protection at two lakes nearby. A fire 24 miles from Galena was about 50 percent contained after burning 8,000 acres.

Not far from Denali National Park and Preserve, a blaze near the Kantishna River north of the park scorched 13,400 acres, while a fire 20 miles west of Lake Minchumina grew to 37,700 acres, Williams said.

Altogether, there were 37 fires burning in Alaska on Thursday. So far this year, the fire coordination center has logged 295 Alaska fires that have burned 210,000 acres.

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