FAIRBANKS — Property damaged in a South Fairbanks brush fire Friday included 13 vehicles, seven sheds and a dozen trailers on about 3 acres of land, according to an initial tally by the Fairbanks Fire Department. But the fire was put out before it consumed any homes or caused any injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The fire erupted in the middle of a busy afternoon for Fairbanks emergency workers. When a call came at 4:06 p.m. about a small outside fire at 23rd Avenue and Turner Street, paramedics had recently responded to a head-on collision on South Cushman that sent two to the hospital. Smoke from a larger wildfire on Moose Mountain was rising to the north of the city.
The small fire in South Fairbanks quickly spread in the windy, 72-degree day with 14 percent humidity.
The Fairbanks Emergency Communications Center took more than 50 calls in the first few minutes, Fairbanks Fire Chief Warren Cummings said in a presentation to Fairbanks City Council members Monday night.
Embers from the fire started new fires between 23rd Avenue and 20th Avenue and in a half-block area between Turner Street and Gillam Way, according the fire department’s initial review of the blaze. It came within about 60 feet of the Little Dipper Apartments to the north and consumed a large amount of construction materials and yard furnishings, the department said.
The Hospice greenhouse was spared, but siding on the garden’s shed was melted, Cummings said.
The fire was contained by 5:45 p.m. with help from seven local departments.
The firefighting effort included the rare use of a helicopter in city limits. The state Division of Forestry’s helicopter has a snorkel that can fill the tank in seven seconds, Cummings said.
Firefighters also had low-tech help from area residents, who used garden hoses to control the spread of fire in their yards.
The day did not end with the South Fairbanks brush fire. Just after midnight, Fairbanks firefighters were called to a blaze at the site of the former Sunset Strip restaurant and lounge.
The Fairbanks fire department is asking anyone with information about the cause of the South Fairbanks brush fire to call 450-6615.
Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. News-Miner reporter Reba Lean contributed to this article.