Fourth of July fire prevention

June 30, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

(Fairbanks, AK) – Wildfires are frequently ignited by recreational activities during the Fourth of July weekend. We are fortunate this year that rainfall throughout much of the state has decreased the immediate fire danger. Still, outdoor fire safety must be considered as we approach the Fourth of July.

Remember, fuels dry out quickly. “A campfire can smolder in the duff for several cloudy days and rekindle to spark a wildfire after just a day or two of sunshine,” cautioned 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.

So far this year, more than 90% 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.

Please have a safe, happy holiday and enjoy your time outdoors.

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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