May 29, 2:20 p.m. — Due to the return of hot and dry conditions, Anchorage Fire Department
(AFD) officials have issued a warning to the public to be especially careful with fire. AFD Officials
warn that the use of outdoor fires (burn pits and campfires) outside of developed campgrounds has been
prohibited until further notice. “All burn permits have been suspended”, noted Deputy Operations Chief,
James Vignola. Covered gas, electric, and charcoal barbecue grills and fish smokers are still allowed.
Other approved devices and portable fireplaces that have screened chimneys can also be used as long as
they are carefully monitored. “The important thing is to never leave any source of heat or fire, even for a
minute,” Vignola added.
Weather forecasters are predicting the high fire danger conditions to persist into next week. “Even
though some brief showers last week helped bring about green-up, we have returned to the high fire
danger conditions rapidly.” Vignola added that “these conditions could lead to increasing fire danger
levels that would necessitate even more stringent measures. We could be facing another challenging
summer ahead that will require everyone’s cooperation to avert major fires in the municipality.”
Fire officials are requesting that the public cooperate by refraining from backyard campfires and outdoor
burning until conditions moderate. Call 267-5020 to determine if burning is allowed. Fines of $150 per
first occurrence and $300 to $600 for successive violations within 5 years will be assessed for violators
who ignore the restrictions. Please contact AFD Forester, John See, at 267-4902 if you have any questions
about the burning restrictions that have been implemented for the Municipality wide area.
The Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF) is joining AFD in advising all outdoor recreationists to use extreme
caution while enjoying this dry and warm weekend weather. Most areas south of the Alaska Range are
experiencing high fire danger with record setting high temperatures forecasted that are expected to
continue through the beginning of next week.
When traveling outside of Anchorage, please remember to check with local officials to determine if
burning is allowed. All open debris burning requires a burn permit that can be obtained from your local
Division of Forestry office. After obtaining a permit, check with your local forestry office for
suspensions and warnings every day you plan to burn. Please contact your local State Parks office
regarding campfires outside of any approved campgrounds. Please be safe with fire and remember, you
are responsible for any fire you light. Have a great and safe weekend.