Palmer wildfire under control; hot spots linger

Associated PressNovember 30, 2012 

The State Division of Forestry was keeping tabs on "hot spots" late Friday from a wind-fanned wildfire that threatened homes in Palmer the day before.

After it was mostly contained late Thursday, the fire apparently flared up overnight, putting Matanuska-Susitna Borough firefighters on guard early Friday.

"Everyone is on watch. The wind isn't letting up," borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan told The Associated Press on Friday morning.

Only a few smoldering patches remained by night, according to the City of Palmer.

On Thursday, a 150-acre wildfire threatened a residential area north of downtown Palmer. No homes were lost but two buildings and two vehicles burned, Sullivan said.

She said 11 fires were reported Thursday, helped by wind gusts estimated by firefighters at 80 miles an hour.

The wildfire was rare for this time of year. It began when a vehicle towing a trailer flipped on the Palmer-Fishhook Road near the Glenn Highway just before 2 p.m. Thursday, Alaska State Troopers said.

The fire took off because there is no snow cover on what is dry ground near homes that sit next to a treeless golf course, leaving the area wide open for the strong and blustery winds.

The city of Palmer said on its Facebook page that the fire was controlled about 10 p.m. Thursday and residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return home.

Sullivan said the fire threatened three homes in the Cedar Hills subdivision and another eight in Wickersham Circle. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.

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