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Point MacKenzie Fire slowed

MAT-SU—Air drops of 2,000 gallons of fire retardant from two air tankers by the Alaska Division of Forestry have slowed the burn of a 10-acre fire at Point MacKenzie that has taken one cabin and a shed.

No injuries are reported. A Forestry helicopter was also dumping buckets of water. The area on fire is not road accessible, so hand crews with the Gannett Glacier Fire Crew had to walk in, and the Mat-Su Borough has shuttled some in on ATVs to reach the blaze. The fire is south of Point MacKenzie Road at mile 4.5.

The fire, called in at 6:34 pm tonight, grew quickly with low humidity and 80-degree temperatures. “The lady who called in said her cabin was taken in this fire and in the wildfire here in 2006,” said the Borough’s Central Mat-Su Fire Chief James Steele.

Steele said the fire was moving north toward Point MacKenzie Road, but the drop of retardant slowed its progress. The closest homes are within 4/10s of a mile near New Homesteader Ave. Neighbors have been alerted. A plume of smoke is visible. Steele said crews have set up to protect homes in the same place they did in 2006 at Cameo Drive and at New Homesteader Ave.

“They’re getting a good handle on it,” Steele said at 9:30 pm.

 For more information call Public Information Officer Patty Sullivan 355-0103 or psullivan@matsugov.us

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