Snowmachine starts wildfire

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snowmachine caused fire
Photo: Mike Goyette, Fairbanks Area Fire Prevention

That is a headline you don’t see every day, but a backfiring snowmachine started a 261-acre wildfire Wednesday night north of Healy, Alaska. The owner was moving it into storage when it backfired and started a fire in the dry grass which was 4 to 6 inches tall. Firefighters from local fire departments, state forestry, smoke jumpers, and the Alaska Fire Service put it out, assisted by two air tankers, after it burned across a tundra moss layer and into some black spruce and hardwoods.

Generally, I guess, there is no need for snowmachines to have spark arrestors.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.