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Posted: 6/19/2002 4:53:42 AM EDT
[url]http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/702433/posts?page=1[/url]
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 5:46:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 9divdoc: [url]http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/702433/posts?page=1[/url]
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[b]ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A wildfire burning in Alaska's interior was ignited by state biologists using firecrackers to ward off an aggressive cow moose, officials said on Tuesday. The 92,000-acre wildfire, which started last month and is burning spruce forest south of McGrath, was inadvertently started during a field study into elevated calf mortality. The firecracker shells were being used to protect a staff member from an approaching moose, said Cathie Harms, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "One of the staff members on the ground saw the firecracker go off, saw some flames, ran over to try to put it out," Harms said. "By the time the staff member got there, it was beyond what he could put out, and then it ran up a spruce tree. And then once it was up a spruce tree, there was nothing he could do." State biologists have long used firecrackers to deal with aggressive moose and bears, such as animals entering schoolyards. This was the first time they know of that one of the devices has started a fire, Harms said. "It just wasn't real high on the radar screen," she said. "Certainly, we're a lot more careful now, because now we know." No structures were burned or damaged by the McGrath-area fire, and no injuries were reported, officials said. Harms said the biologist concerned had been in danger of serious injury from the angered moose. "From our perspective, we don't think our staff did anything wrong," she said. The fire is still active, burning well south of McGrath, but the flames are in an area where they are considered to pose no risk.[/b] Chalk up another one for govt workers. These people shouldn't be allowed to bring match's to work!!
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