The Alaska Division of Forestry responded to two small grass fires in the Mat-Su Valley on
Tuesday, a sign that fire danger in Southcentral Alaska is still high due to the lack of snow and dry conditions.
The first fire was reported off Bogard Road in Wasilla at around 7 a.m. and was the result of a structure fire
that spread to frost-killed grass surrounding the structure, according to Fire Management Officer Norm
McDonald in Palmer. The fire burned about one acre before firefighters from the Central Fire Department in
Wasilla and DOF were able to extinguish the blaze.
The second fire occurred at around 11 a.m. and was caused by an escaped burn barrel fire that spread to grass
and burned about one-half acre before firefighters contained it.
In both instances, responding fire departments requested the assistance of DOF personnel to help control the
Recent warm temperatures have melted what little snow has fallen in Southcentral Alaska this winter and
conditions are very dry and volatile. Primary fuels such as grass, leaves and brush can promote fast-moving
fires that are extremely difficult to control, especially if there is any wind.
Given the dry conditions, the Division of Forestry is asking the public to hold off with open burning and/or
using burn barrels until there is significant snow cover or a substantial wetting rain. Anyone who causes an
escaped wildfire can be held accountable for the costs of suppressing the fire.
To report a wildfire, call 911.