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Fire Crews Working Porcupine Island Fire

Jenny Neyman

A 3-acre fire on Porcupine Island in Kenai Lake, southeast of Cooper Landing, has been contained and is being monitored.  

The island is part of the Chugach National Forest. No one lives on the island, but there is a small campground. An information officer with the Forest Service said Wednesday that fire personnel created a saw line and deployed water hose Tuesday.

The fire didn’t spread Wednesday, but there are heavy concentrations of large fuels adjacent to the fire. A helicopter and 14 firefighters were dispatched to suppress the blaze Tuesday. Firefighters are continuing to mop up around the edges of the fire today.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Forest Service warns that fire danger is high in the Chugach National Forest.

The Alaska Division of Forestry is battling fire risk on the Kenai Peninsula, as well. Forestry has found 12 holdover fires in the Kenai/Kodiak region. All but one on the Kenai Peninsula were from last year's Card Street Fire that burned nearly 8,900 acres to the east of Sterling. The other was from 2014's Funny River Fire, which burned nearly 200,000 acres.

Forestry officials say that holdover fires aren't uncommon in Alaska, but the amount found this year is higher than usual. The potential for a flareup in the Card Street Fire is particularly worrying, since there are a lot of patches of unburned fuel and a 5- to 10-acre rekindle could spread beyond the fire perimeter. Fire crews are keeping an eye out for further hot spots.