Winds wreaking havoc for firefighters in Matanuska Valley

High, erratic winds continue to pose a serious challenge for firefighters battling a 300-acre wildfire along north of Palmer, while also producing new starts for firefighters in the Matanuska Valley.

Firefighters were scrambling Sunday night to respond to a 3-acre flare up and numerous spot fires on the Moose Creek Fire caused by the windy conditions on the northwest corner of the fire, which is burning on the north side of the Glenn Highway about 12 miles north of Palmer and 5 miles south of Sutton.

The flare up occurred at approximately 6 p.m. when the wind-driven fire crossed uncontained line. Fire managers launched two helicopters equipped with water buckets to drop water on the flare up while firefighters on the ground also responded.

In an effort contain the flare up, managers temporarily shifted firefighters from more-secure parts of the fire perimeter to bolster initial attack efforts. Firefighters are also contending with multiple spot fires popping up as a result of embers being carried by the wind.

Winds in the area are a steady 25-30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.

At 7:30 p.m., State Foresty also responded fire other fire reported near Plumley Road in the Butte at approximately 7:30 p.m. Firefighters from Forestry and the Butte Volunteer Fire Department arrived to find a private landowner burning debris piles about 1 1/2 miles down a trail head. Resources were enroute to extinguish the piles.

In addition, State Forestry and local fire departments responded to a pair of small grass fires caused by downed power lines at approximately 1:30 p.m. – one at Mile 6 Clark Wolverine Road in the Butte and one on Farmloop Road north of Palmer, not far from the Moose Creek Fire.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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