Glacier Creek blaze more than 1,000 acres

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2004

Smoke from the Glacier Creek Fire and other blazes raging around the state continued to blanket much of Southcentral Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula on Wednesday.

Located east of Tustumena Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Glacier Creek Fire had spread to 1,030 acres by Wednesday afternoon, Division of Forestry officials said in a press release.

"The fire is in a limited fire suppression areas north of Glacier Creek moving to the east," the division said.

Eight U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel, the 16-person fire crew from Nikolai and firefighters with the division were protecting structures by clearing trees and brush from around cabins near the fire. As of Wednesday afternoon, the blaze remained about three-fourths of a mile from the closest cabin.

The Emma Lake Trail has been closed, and hunters and hikers are asked to use ex-treme care in the area, the division said.

Near Homer, the 1.4-acre Crossman Ridge Fire had been extinguished by Wed-nesday, but fire personnel were monitoring the area against flare-up.

Likewise, an extinguished fire off Crooked Creek Road in Kasilof known as the Willow Avenue Fire also was in monitor status Wednesday afternoon.

The Hidden Lake Island Fire reported Monday as an abandoned campfire on a 5-acres island in Hidden Lake, was expected to consume all the fuels on the island, according to spokesperson Crista Cady Hippchen. No structures were threatened and the fire was to be checked again late Wednesday, Hippchen said.

The division has urged pilots not to fly over or around the fire areas because there may be Forestry helicopters in the air that might be hard to see due to the smoke.

The division also notes that open burning is not allowed at this time because of the extremely dry conditions across Southcentral Alaska. Fire officials asked that people refrain from starting fires until rain ends the dry conditions.

Backcountry travelers are being asked to carry collapsible buckets or a container for carrying water to extinguish accidental fires.

Also, residents are encouraged to check defensible spaces around structures.

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