A 3-acre wildfire of unknown origin in the Upper Skilak Loop area broke out Saturday afternoon.
The first report of the fire came in to the state Division of Forestry at 3:15 p.m., said dispatcher Walter Christolear. Forestry responded with a helicopter and other equipment, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge sent fire engines and Central Emergency Services sent at least one fire engine.
"There's a pretty good spread of resources going up there," Christolear said. "Everybody went out there as fast as they could."
Christolear reported at 6:40 p.m. Saturday that the fire was contained, largely due to a few fire retardant drops from a bomber called down from Palmer.
The fire was located on an exposed southwest slope in the Upper Skilak Campground area. The area had burned in 1996, so there was a lot of dead wood and fallen trees in the area, which made it difficult for fire crews to get to the fire. But the use of the plane and helicopter enabled respondents to contain the blaze.
Christolear didn't know at that point whether the blaze was caused by an escaped campfire.
"I'd suspect that, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it," he said. "From what I heard, there were quite a few people in that campground."
"The big thing is, if you're going to have any burning, I'd be real careful," he said. "If the wind picks up, I wouldn't want to do any burning at all."
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