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Fire Burns Near Bethel's Wildlife Lane

Bethel Fire Chief Darren Solsebee and firefighters Toby Monroe and Elijah Wenger pry open the door of an extended cab pickup truck that was found burning in Crow's Pit a half mile from Wildlife Lane in Bethel, Alaska on June 13, 2019.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

10:00 a.m. The reported tundra fire off Bethel’s Wildlife Lane on Thursday morning turned out not to be a tundra fire at all. Instead, Bethel firefighters extinguished a burning pickup truck and bicycle in the Old Crow sandpit. The flames did not spread beyond the vehicle.

Many people heading to work this morning saw smoke rising to the east. Bethel Fire Department received a call about the smoke at 7:30 a.m., and extinguished the fire about an hour later.

An extended cab pickup truck sits charred in a pit about a half-mile past the end of Wildlife Lane in Bethel, Alaska on June 13, 2019.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Three firefighters responded to the scene on four-wheelers, driving about a half-mile off of Bethel’s Wildlife Lane; the location prevented a fire engine from accessing the site. Firefighters put out the flames using fire extinguishers. 

Fire Captain Darren Solsebee led the effort and says that the department has responded to this area for similar reasons in the past.

When KYUK left the scene at 9:30 a.m., firefighters were waiting for police to arrive at the scene to help begin investigating who owns the vehicle and how the fire began.

9:15 a.m. Bethel Fire Department has extinguished the tundra fire.

7:50 a.m. A tundra fire is burning about one mile from Bethel's Wildlife Lane, according to the Bethel Fire Department. Firefighters have headed to the scene to contain the blaze.

A vehicle burns about a mile from Wildlife Lane on June 13, 2019 in Bethel, Alaska. The fire was originally reported to be a tundra fire, but was later confirmed to be a burning vehicle.
Credit Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK