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Prepare for wildfire prevention

May 19th | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

If you haven't noticed, it's been kinda dry around here: wildland fire season has arrived in Alaska.

Governor Bill Walker has issued a proclamation declaring May 14-20 to be Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week in Alaska and is asking Alaskans to do their part to prevent wildfires and prepare against them.

The trend in recent years has been for earlier and longer fire seasons. So far this year, 75 wildfires have been reported and 2,045 acres burned. All but one of those fires have been human-caused and were therefore preventable.

Take personal responsibility and do your part to protect homes, families and neighborhoods from the threat of wildfire. You are responsible for any fire you start and can be held responsible if that fire escapes as a result of negligence.

Follow these steps to help reduce the chance of a wildland fire:

• Check on and adhere to local burning restrictions in your area by getting a burn permit at to http://forestry.alaska.gov/

• See if burning is allowed on the day you want to burn.

• Follow the Division of Forestry's safe burning guidelines listed on burn permits.

• Remove flammable materials like leaves, dry grass and wood piles from around your home, your roof and rain gutters.

• Create defensible space by removing spruce trees within 15 feet of your home and pruning the limbs on trees 8 to 10 feet off the ground to reduce ladder fuels that enable fire to climb into the canopy of trees.

• Create and practice an evacuation plan for your family in the event of a wildland fire.

 

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