Report: Three major Southcentral fires human-caused

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Three of the major wildland fires burning in Southcentral Alaska were human caused, according to a situation report from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center and Bureau of Land Management.

The McKinley, Deshka Landing and North Fork Fires are listed as "Cause: Human" in the report released Wednesday. No other details were immediately available, though forestry officials said human causes can mean a range of specific things that could've triggered a wildfire.

"There's a litany of human causes," said Tim Mowry with the Division of Forestry. "That can be campfires, debris burning, power lines, could be charcoal grill, kids playing with matches."

The National Park Service reports 85 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. There is a whole national list of what is considered human cause, which can be found here.

The Levelock and Caribou Lake Fires remain listed as having undetermined causes.

The Swan Lake Fire is listed as being caused by lightning, as previously reported.

Div. of Forestry officials also said Wednesday that it can take several days, if not longer, to determine a category of cause and exact source, if the latter is possible.

"We try to figure out the specific causes, for multiple reasons," Mowry said, "and a lot of times, you don't get down to a specific cause just becase because stuff has burned up."

The McKinley, Deshka Landing and North Fork Fires remain under investigation.

This is a developing story. Please check back for details.
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