State Forestry burn permits required starting April 1

With drier spring and summer weather fast approaching, the Alaska Division of Forestry reminds residents they must get a permit before burning debris in the open or in burn barrels, starting April 1 in areas under state wildland fire protection.

Debris burning and the use of burn barrels are the leading cause of wildland fires in Alaska. Burn permits contain instructions for safe and legal burning.

Residents must obtain a new permit at the start of each season, which runs from April 1 through August 31. Burn permits are free at state forestry offices and most local fire departments, or can be downloaded and printed at http://www.forestry.alaska.gov/burn. This website is a key resource for learning about safe burning practices in Alaska.

Residents are required to read and sign the permit before burning. They must also call the forestry office listed on the permit or check online each day before burning to ensure that burning is allowed. Permittees must have the burn permit in their possession when burning. Burn permits are NOT required for camping, cooking or warming fires under 3 feet in diameter.

As some municipalities do not allow burn barrels or debris burning, regardless of whether a resident has a state burn permit, residents should check with their local forestry office or fire authorities to determine if burning is allowed in their area at all.

Burn piles larger than 10 feet in diameter and 4 feet high require a large-scale burn permit, which requires a site inspection by a State Forestry Prevention Officer and a burn plan prior to a permit being issued.

Anyone who fails to obtain or adhere to the conditions of a burn permit can be held criminally liable for damage caused by an escaped fire.

For more information, contact Alaska Division of Forestry Public Information Officer Tim Mowry at 907-356-5512 or tim.mowry@alaska.gov.

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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