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State reminds residents of Fourth of July Fire prevention

Posted: July 4, 2014 - 12:01am

Recreational activities during the Fourth of July weekend frequently ignite wildfires, according to a release from the State of Alaska this week.Rainfall throughout much of the state has decreased the immediate fire danger, but the state urged several precautions.

Fuels dry out quickly. “A campfire can smolder in the duff (partially decayed material on the forest floor) for several cloudy days and rekindle to spark a wildfire after just a day or two of sunshine,” said Mike Goyette, Fairbanks Area Forestry Prevention Officer.

If you are going to build a campfire, choose a location on dirt and be sure to drown out the campfire before leaving it. If you plan to burn debris, visit http://forestry.alaska.gov/burn and adhere to burn permit stipulations.

The Alaska Division of Forestry would like to remind those who plan on setting off fireworks during the upcoming weekend that you may be breaking the law. Alaska statutes prohibit disposing of any burning material, including fireworks, on any forested lands.

As an added reminder, many local government agencies including the Mat-Su, and Kenai Peninsula boroughs, the Municipality of Anchorage and others aggressively enforce regulations prohibiting the use of fireworks. Fireworks are best enjoyed at a time when they can be enjoyed and will not start a wildland fire. That time is winter, the release stated.

So far this year, more than 90 percent of the wildland fires reported to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center have been human caused. Wildland fuels such as grass, brush and trees can dry out quickly even when the weather seems mild. It only takes a single spark to start a wildfire which put people, homes and other resources at risk.

For more information, contact Sam Harrel, Division of Forestry information officer, 907-356-5511 or sam.harrel@alaska.gov.

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