Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Air tanker drops retardant in KGB area fire

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Thursday, June 29, 2006

Helicopters dumped water and an air tanker dropped retardant on a moving fire off Knik Goose Bay Road Monday night, in an effort to gain control of it.

Several homes dot the area where the fire was spreading. As the air tanker roared overhead, Director of Emergency Services Dennis Brodigan stood a few hundred feet from the retardant drop at about 7:20 pm. He said it seemed to have knocked down the flames and brought the blaze under control. The lack of wind is also helping firefighters in the fight. The National Weather Service is predicting high winds to pick up later. The fire quickly spread from four acres to ten acres in little more than half an hour. The cause of the blaze is unknown at this time. Brodigan did not know of any structures lost when asked early in the evening.

About 40 firefighters responded to the fire at about mile 10 off Knik-Goose Bay Road in the MAT-SU Valley. The fire started near Carmel Road and the Knik-Knak Mud Shack Road.

Brodigan earlier reported that the fire was very active with three-foot flames in the grass and in the trees. The fire was progressing north toward the Big Lake/Meadow Lakes areas. The state Division of Forestry and all fire stations from the Borough responded.

Brodigan said engines and tankers were staged north of the fire, ready to respond if the fire broke away. To the south, firefighters poured thousands of gallons of water on the flames.

The Division of Forestry issued a ban on all burns today at 1 pm in the MAT-SU. All burns are prohibited. Campfires are highly discouraged.