A Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighter moves to extinguish and early morning vehicle fire on April 19, 2022. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (Courtesy photo / Travis Mead)

A Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighter moves to extinguish and early morning vehicle fire on April 19, 2022. The cause of the fire is under investigation. (Courtesy photo / Travis Mead)

CCFR investigating early-morning vehicle fire

The vehicle, which had been parked for several months, was totally gutted.

Capital City Fire/Rescue is investigating the cause of a vehicle fire that began early Tuesday morning.

The fire, which began around 3 a.m., completely gutted a large passenger van which had been present there for some time, according to CCFR.

“Upon arrival, fire personnel found a large passenger van fully involved with fire,” said a CCFR social media post. “The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries reported.”

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Fire marshal Dan Jager said he’s investigating the cause of the fire and the circumstances of the vehicle, which was parked at the intersection of Ladd Street and Berners Avenue, near the airport, at the time of the fire and had been for some time.

Capital City Fire/Rescue is investigating the cause of a vehicle fire that occurred on April 19, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Dan Jager)

Capital City Fire/Rescue is investigating the cause of a vehicle fire that occurred on April 19, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Dan Jager)

“I haven’t been able to determine if it’s accidental or intentional,” Jager said. “It’s an abandoned vehicle. From my understanding talking to some of the neighbors is that it’s been abandoned for several months.”

The fire was extinguished without issue, Jager said, though the material in the van did cause extra water to be required.

“The problem with it is there was a lot of combustible material and it was also fiberglass,” Jager said. “It took a little more water than we typically use.”

Jager is currently seeking information as he investigates the case. There were no witnesses or bystanders present to interview when CCFR personnel arrived, Jager said. Jager asked anyone with information to contact him at (907)586-5322 ext. 4323. The remains of the van will be taken to the impound lot or disposed of depending on the needs of the investigation, said Juneau Police Department public safety manager Erann Kalwara in a phone interview.

Capital City Fire/Rescue is asking Juneau residents to be careful with open fires, as dry, windy conditions have significantly increase risk of grass fires, like this one on Boy Scout Beach. (Courtesy photo / CCFR)

Capital City Fire/Rescue is asking Juneau residents to be careful with open fires, as dry, windy conditions have significantly increase risk of grass fires, like this one on Boy Scout Beach. (Courtesy photo / CCFR)

Windy weather

CCFR has also fielded a number of calls for grass fires as relatively dry, windy weather continues, including some out of CCFR’s service area, Jager said. Callouts for fires outside the service area tie up assets and personnel that might otherwise be needed in Juneau’s more populated areas.

“We’re asking people not to burn so we don’t have issues,” Jager said. “We had two in areas you can open burn, but because of conditions and the wind, it got out of control.”

Open burning is prohibited in the Lemon Creek area from Oct. 1 to April 30 every year, according to the city. Dry conditions expected to last the week alongside gusting winds have increased the risk of grass fires starting, Jager said.

“If people can refrain from burning, that would be good,” Jager said. “We appreciate everyone’s help.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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