Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week starts tomorrow and goes through May 9

Wildland fire in Alaska is inevitable; are you ready? Governor Sean Parnell has issued a proclamation designating May 3-9 as Alaska Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week.

The proclamation states that public awareness of wildland fire prevention practices and preparedness measures is essential for public safety, and encourages citizens to observe the week through individual efforts and community programs that reduce the threat of wildland fire to their homes, property, and communities.

Response to lightning and human-caused wildland fires requires balancing personal safety and protection of property with the ecosystem’s natural fire regime.

The Alaska Division of Forestry partners with the BLM Alaska Fire Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Fish and Game, and the Alaska Wildland Fire Coordinating Group, to encourage the public to use this week as a prompt to consider and discuss with family and friends ways to prevent fires, prepare for fires, and be aware of information resources available.

Prevent!

Remember, it only takes a spark to start a fire! Unwanted, human-caused fires pose the most direct, but preventable, risk to public safety. Be cautious with any activity that could start a fire. Learn about safe burning practices, debris burning, and burn barrels at: http://forestry.alaska.gov/burn/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/AlaskaDNRDOF.

Prepare!

How fast can your house run?! Adopting Firewise principles can reduce the risk of damage or loss of property due to a wildland fire. Several resources are available, including the Firewise Alaska brochure (http://forestry.alaska.gov/pdfs/firewise09.pdf), the Rural Alaska Fire Prevention movie (www.mediabasket.com, http://www.youtube.com/user/AlaskaDNRDOF), and knowledgeable staff at the local Division of Forestry (DOF) office. The Alaska Firewise brochure also provides suggestions for pre-emergency planning, what to do during a wildfire, and how to make an evacuation go more smoothly.

Be Aware!

Fire information sources are available to you! The Interagency Coordination Center website http://fire.ak.blm.gov/ provides current fire information, maps, statistics, and more. Additional DOF information sources include: http://forestry.alaska.gov/wildland.htm, http://www.facebook.com/AK.Forestry, http://twitter.com/ak_forestry.

Throughout May 3-9, the interagency fire community will use Facebook and Twitter pages to highlight different aspects of the Prevent! Prepare! Be Aware! campaign.

For more information, please contact Maggie Hess at 907-356-5512 or maggie.hess@alaska.gov.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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