Capital City Fire/Rescue is asking the public to be aware of the threat of wildland and grass fires in Southeast Alaska this time of year, several of which have been reported in the past couple weeks.
Deputy Fire Marshal Sven Pearson said Juneau residents may not think wildfires are a threat here, but they are, he says.
He explained that fire danger exists during spring weather when dry vegetation such as grasses and brush are combined with lower humidity and light breezes. Until vegetation begins to “green up,” last year’s growth and dead grasses are easily ignitable and prone to burn, he said.
“In order to keep the chance of a grass or wildland fire to a minimum, we advise residents to take precautions that eliminate the potential of fire spread,” Pearson said in a press release. “For residents that have a burn permit, make sure that the rules regarding open fires are being obeyed. These include having a means of extinguishing the fire. A person is responsible for their fire and the conditions it creates.”
Pearson also advised to use caution with weed burners and similar devices; drown all fires (this means to stay with outside fires until they are completely safe and extinguished); dispose of wood ashes or charcoal in a metal bucket, soaking them with water before dumping them; obey local laws regarding open fires, including campfires; keep all flammable objects away from fire; and extinguish smoking materials with caution.