Small wildfire outside Salcha quickly contained

Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 2:06 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Volunteer firefighters from Salcha Fire and Rescue responded to reports of a wildfire at milepost 311 of the Richardson Highway on Tuesday afternoon. A fire that had started in a log pile spread to the surrounding woods, catching trees and brush on fire. Firefighters were able to build a perimeter around the fire and stop it from spreading.

According to a Facebook post from Salcha Fire and Rescue, around 17 volunteer firefighters and four engines responded to the fire. A crew from the Alaska Fire Service also responded to assist in containing the fire. The fire appears to have been caused by an engine backfire while the land owner was cutting wood. The fire rapidly spread up a steep hill toward a couple houses at the top of the hill. The official cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire eventually burned around 1.5 acres before being contained. Crews worked into the evening ensure the fire was contained. They turned the scene over to the owner Tuesday night and left him a 2,500 gallon water tank in case of flair ups.

Ernie Misewicz is a firefighter and medic with Salcha Fire and Rescue and said that they want to, “make sure the people are aware that even though it’s chilly and damp out that fire can spread very quickly so be cautious out there.”

Alaska has had a very slow fire season as cooler temperatures and rain have lingered over the state for much of the summer. Most of the wildland firefighters from Alaska are currently out of the state assisting with fires in the lower-48.

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