BLM Issues Fire Restrictions for Federal Lands near Steese Highway NOAA Facility

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Tuesday issued a Fire Prevention Order prohibiting campfires, explosives and fireworks on federal lands in a fire-prone area of black spruce off of Gilmore Trail north of Fairbanks and north of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility site on the Steese Highway.

This is the fourth consecutive year the BLM’s Eastern Interior Field Office in Fairbanks has issued the order to ensure public safety and protect nearby property and residences. A small section of public land at the end of Brier Road northeast of Fox is also included in the closure, which went into effect on May 7.

In recent years, firefighters and law enforcement personnel have found numerous unattended bonfires on federal land off of Gilmore Trail, leading to concerns that an escaped fire could threaten local residences, as well as the NOAA facility on Gilmore Creek.

“The BLM has for years worked closely with neighborhood residents to address safety concerns and be a good neighbor, said Eastern Interior Field Office Manager Adam Carr. “This Fire Prevention Order helps in that effort as we evaluate other long-term options for reducing wildfire hazards in the area.”

Anyone convicted of violating this order could face a fine of up to $1,000, spend up to a year in jail and be responsible for costs associated with fire suppression and damages. The fire prevention order will end Oct. 31 unless it is rescinded due to weather conditions or other factors.

For more information, contact Fire Management Specialist Tom St. Clair at 907-474-2226 or tstclair@blm.gov.

Fire prevention order map shows affected federal lands in two blocks of land northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. One block is immediately north of Gilmore Trail, and the other is across the Steese Highway several miles to the northwest near the headwaters of Gold Run. Roads, creeks, and private and State of Alaska land are also depicted.
Map of the two areas under temporary fire restrictions north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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