Winds, dry conditions prompt fire danger warning in Southcentral

State wild fire managers on Friday issued a fire danger warning to residents in the snow-

barren portion of the state south of the Alaska Range due to strong winds associated with the super storm

expected to hit the Aleutian Islands this weekend.

“The wind, combined with dry, snow-free conditions across much of Southcentral Alaska, could potentially

lead to a wildfire,” Tom Kurth, Fire Program Manager at the Division of Forestry in Fairbanks, said.

Even though it’s November, most of the southern part of the state is still relatively snow free at this point and

there is still plenty of dry grass and leaves that could fuel and drive a wildfire, Kurth said. The Mat-Su Valley is

one area of particular concern, he said.

“Historically we have had problems in situations like this,” Kurth said.

A strong low pressure system that is the remnant of Typhoon Nuri is expected to move into the Bering Sea this

weekend and bring strong southerly winds to much of the state starting Sunday and continuing into mid-week.

The National Weather Service is calling for winds of 15-30 mph in Anchorage already this weekend.

Relative humidities are not expected to get low enough to prompt a “red flag warning” from the National

Weather Service as some moisture is expected in the form of isolated snow and/or rain showers. The

precipitation would be in Southwest and Southcentral Alaska this weekend but that moisture is not expected

to make it far inland.

Residents should use caution with anything that could potentially lead to a fire, such as burn barrels, debris

burning, campfires, and use of recreational vehicles.

 “Usually fire wildland fire starts this time of year are an anomaly but they can happen,” Kurth said. “Last time

it was a snowmachine trailer that got tipped over by the wind. It got drug down the highway and was throwing

sparks everywhere.”

To report a wildfire, dial 911

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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