Story last updated at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2002

Fire crews busy
Tuesday marked the second time this season that fire crews responded to a brushfire off Cottonfield Road, north of Anchor Point.

The three-acre blaze was started by the land owner, who was burning a slash pile when the flames spread into nearby grasses.

When Mabel Crutchfield called 911 looking for help, she said, "My fire's out of control. I can't believe how fast it's spread," according to a Alaska Division of Forestry release.

The Anchor Point Volunteer Fire Department and the Division of Forestry responded with a combined force of three trucks and three helicopters and quickly brought the fire under control. Crutchfield's house was spared.

While the fire crews were working at the Cottonfield Road fire, another fire was reported nearby at Resch Lane, where flames had spread from a stump pile into adjacent spruce trees. That fire, with the help of a contractor on the scene and its prompt reporting, was contained to one acre.

Fire danger on Tuesday was high enough that the city of Homer suspended local burn permits for the day.

The Sterling Highway north of Anchor Point has been a dangerous place to burn recently. Last week, Division of Forestry wildfire crews put their helicopter resources into action for the first time this year, dropping buckets on a seven-acre burn on Dimitri Lane. The fire, fanned by gusty conditions, burned from a grassy area into spruce forest and was rekindled from a slash pile that was originally lit in April.