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Dry grass catches fire at shooting range near Fairbanks

Wildland firefighters responded to a small wildfire at the Chena Hot Springs Road shooting range on Saturday.
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 5:33 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Wildland firefighters responded to a small wildfire at the Chena Hot Springs Road shooting range on Saturday. According Alaska Forestry Public Information Officer, Tim Mowry, the fire started as a result of shooting activities at the range. It burned just over nine acres before it was contained.

Wildland firefighters used a helicopter to drop water on the fire until crews arrived. Crews on the ground set up hoses and stayed to mop-up the remaining fire.

It is unknown if the blaze started because of a ricochet, or from the use of exploding targets.

Mowry says that this is a good reminder of how easily fires can start.

“It’s a very dry time of year in Fairbanks. We haven’t had any precipitation, all this dead dry grass you know that was exposed by the snow melt is totally dry, is freeze dried, you know, all it takes is a spark to ignite this stuff and that’s what we are just starting to see this in Fairbanks,” Mowry said.

Crews also responded to a pair of fires off of the Richardson Highway near Salcha and a fire on the Parks Highway today. The fire off of the Richardson appeared to have been started by a discarded cigarette butt and the other from rubbing break shoes on a vehicle. Mowry says that anything hot or that causes sparks, can cause a fire.

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