Apparently a guy below them on the hill started a brush fire, in the height of fire season, and it quickly got out of control. For those unfamiliar, the ecology in Alaska has evolved such that the forests like to burn every sixty years or so. This means that in the midst of hot, dry arctic-desert and sub-desert summers, you have trees filled with volatile, flammable oil just waiting for a spark.
When fire fighters arrived, the man who started that fire got out his shotgun.
Had the fire gone further uphill, it would have hit the most expensive section of homes in town. As it was, the state troopers had to be called to subdue the guy who started it. A full hundred wild fire fighters had to be used to extinguish the blaze.
Apparently, about a week before the man had called the police. He told them he was in a moment of lucidity, but knew he was going insane. He asked them to come please take his guns, and take him away.
They did not do so.