Campfire caused small wildfire near Mount Baldy, DOF says
The Alaska Division of Forestry says an escaped campfire is behind a small wildfire near the top of Mount Baldy.
The Steeple Fire, according to DOF, was reported just after 12 p.m. Monday along Meadow Creek. It's located about half a mile from Steeple Drive, east of Eagle River.
DOF firefighters responded after the Anchorage Fire Department was unable to access the fire. Crews from the Matanuska-Susitna area worked to contain the fire through the evening.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, air tankers were able to box in the fire. One tanker made a successful retardant drop and another dropped a water-enhanced suppressant directly on the fire to knock down the flames.
"Both drops were effective in calming fire behavior," DOF said in an online update. "A helicopter is continuing to make water drops on the fire, using the Eagle River as a water source."
Pete Panarese watched the fire from the Mount Baldy side with binoculars. He said he was impressed watching the crews work so quickly.
"I'm glad they're there," Panarese said. "I'm glad that they got there as fast as they did."
Crews on the ground are reporting good progress. Though an investigation determined the cause of the fire to be the escaped campfire, DOF says the investigation is ongoing.
Cassie Schirm contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for the latest information.
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