Chugach National Forest: First Human-Caused Fire of Season Ignites

Contact: Morgan Warthin, Public Affairs Officer, 743.9444, mwarthin@fs.fed.us

Anchorage: As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, Chugach National Forest alerts recreationists that
fire danger is high in areas of the forest near Cooper Landing, Moose Pass, Hope and Girdwood. Forest wildland fire officials urge extreme caution with any kind of activity that could spark a fire.

Thursday, May 21, the first human-caused fire of the season ignited on the forest south of Hope in a popular recreation area. Located within the vicinity of the Coeur D’Alene campground on the Upper Palmer Creek Road, one engine and a fuels crew responded. Thanks to the hard work from the crew and a Division of Forestry helicopter dropping buckets of water, the 61-acre fire will likely be contained Friday, May 22. An additional forest crew will attend to the fire Friday.

Officials ask recreationists to stay informed of fire danger and be aware of changing weather conditions. Consider your safety and the safety of others and do your part to prevent human-caused fires. “We all have a hand in a safe fire season,” said Acting Wildland Fire Management Officer Bobette Rowe.

On the national forest, campfires are allowed in pre-existing fire rings and in established campgrounds and recreational areas. Follow these guidelines to extinguish your fire completely:

1. Allow the wood to burn to ash if possible.
2. Pour lots of water on the fire and drown all embers.
3. Stir the wet ashes and embers with a shovel.
4. Scrape any remaining logs to remove embers.
5. Make sure everything is cold to touch.
6. If you do not have water, use dirt or sand by mixing in with embers.
7. Do not bury the fire as it will continue to smolder and may start a wildfire.

REMEMBER: If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave!

Fireworks are illegal within the forest. Citations will be issued for using fireworks. Penalties include fines up to $500 and/or jail time.

Visit http://fire.ak.blm.gov and http://akfireinfo.com for statewide wildfire information. Dial 911 to report a fire.

For up-to-date fire danger information on Chugach National Forest, call (907) 743-9500 or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach.

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