Prescribed burns reduce fire danger

Posted: Monday, October 12, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Fire crews are working on four prescribed burns in the Fairbanks area to reduce the threat of wildfire.

This summer's forest fires are out, but the prescribed burns are an effort to keep future fires at a minimum.

The Alaska Division of Forestry is working on controlled burns in the Goldstream and Murphy Dome areas as part of an effort to reduce fire risk around populated areas near Fairbanks.

The Division of Forestry is planning to burn more than 1,200 acres north of Chena Hot Springs Road during the next two weeks, assuming the weather cooperates.

The Army also is working on two controlled burns on military land.

As of Friday, firefighters had burned 80 acres in a controlled burn area off Goldstream. They plan to burn a total of 100 acres. A fire along the north side of Old Murphy Dome Road is also planned for 200 acres, with about 115 acres of the project completed.

The Moose Creek prescribed burn was wrapped up on Friday with more than 21 acres burned in that operation. In the Donnelly Training Area, which has so far has consumed 677 acres in a controlled burn, damp and windy weather conditions on Friday prevented further burns.

Alaska is coming off the ninth-heaviest forest fire season ever recorded, with nearly 3 million acres burned. Much of that activity happened in the Fairbanks zone, where about 650,000 acres burned in wildland fires this summer, according to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center.

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