Backfiring pickup truck causes 'insane' string of Mat-Su wildfires

A single vehicle started a series of Mat-Su wildfires that kept crews across the region busy for hours Thursday afternoon, Mat-Su fire officials said.

Ken Barkley, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough deputy director of emergency services, said the first fire near Hemmer Road in Palmer was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Another was soon reported near Colony High School, followed by two more in the Big Lake area.

"We were chasing fires all the way from Big Lake to Palmer," Barkley said. "We had...

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