ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Anchorage public cemetery is running out of burial space, although private areas remain vacant.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday that the 103-year-old Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery is filling at a rate that may leave no spaces available in as little as eight years.

The cemetery director says, however, that unused portions of certain private sections, or tracts, in the northernmost areas may remain that way for hundreds of years.

The 22-acre (9-hectare) cemetery on the edge of downtown is managed by the municipality and has space for 17,525 grave plots, but only about half of its 25 tracts are available for public use.

The rest are owned by fraternal and religious groups that pay the city annual maintenance costs and dictate who is buried there.

Information from: Anchorage Daily News,