Tweet 7/6/13, "Army official: Artillery drill started Stuart Creek wildfire," Sam Friedman, newsminer.com
TWO RIVERS, Alaska, "An Army artillery exercise ignited the
Stuart Creek 2 fire now threatening the community of Two Rivers,
according to the Fort Wainwright garrison commander.
Col. Ron Johnson spoke to area residents this evening at a community meeting at the Pleasant Valley Community Center.
In general, the Army makes sure it has the
resources to put out a fire that could start from training before
allowing the training, he said.
“In this case it took some mitigation measures,
they allowed the training to occur, it was artillery training, it did
start a fire,” Johnson said.
The fire, which started June 25, was initially
contained until it flared up last week, Johnson said.
The training took
place during a red flag warning in which residents are asked to avoid
conducting activities that could start fires, he said.
“It was monitored, it smoked up, they hit it again and then when the
fire conditions changed it flared up and now we’ve got what we’ve got,”
Saturday’s meeting was organized by the
firefighting crew now managing the 32,014-acre fire to give information
to the Chena Hot Springs Road community that’s been under an advisory
evacuation watch since Tuesday.
Johnson was not a scheduled speaker at the
meeting but took the microphone to applause and laughter when a local
resident asked “If the military started this fire, then why aren’t they
Chena Hot Springs Road between 14 mile and 32
mile remains on evacuation watch. Warm weather is forecast for Sunday, as is wind that would blow the fire toward the community." via Free Republic