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Firefighters contain 1 Fairbanks blaze, plan retardant drops on second

Posted: May 21, 2011 - 9:55pm

FAIRBANKS — Firefighters have contained one fire that erupted in a four-block area of South Fairbanks, damaging vehicles and outbuildings, and planned to drop more retardant on a fire on Moose Mountain that was described Saturday as active.

Division of Forestry information officer Pete Buist told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that five crews were working on the Moose Mountain fire and three more were ordered to assist.

The fire was on 700 to 800 acres, and no evacuations were ordered. But a forecast for thunderstorms raised concern about lightning strikes and unpredictable winds.

“It was quite active this morning,” Buist told the paper. “Once the clouds started moving out and the temperature started heating up, there was significant fire activity. It’s a measure of how dry it is.”

In South Fairbanks, fire officials say they’re assessing damage in a four-block area where a wind-driven brush fire on Friday afternoon touched off other blazes. It was stopped in the woods short of an apartment complex.

Some residents evacuated their homes. Residents reported losing two sheds, three cars and a minivan.

One witness to the fires, Chester Thomas, said the fire briefly concerned him because of the spruce limbs over his roof.

“One car blew up, and I thought, ‘Oh boy, it’s coming this way,’” Thomas said. “Those things are like gasoline.”

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