Hunters heading into the woods should be careful with fire

It’s hunting season and the Alaska Division of Forestry is reminding hunters heading out into the woods to use caution with any activity that could spark a wildfire.

While rain has soaked many parts of Alaska in the past week to lower the wildfire danger, other parts of the state remain warm and dry with high potential for wildfires, specifically the Kenai Peninsula, Matanuska-Susitna Valley and Copper River Basin. Those areas have received little or no precipitation in the past two weeks and the forecast is calling for continued warm, dry conditions.

Two of the prime hunting activities that can lead to wildfires are campfires and the use of ATVs. While campfires are an integral part of a comfortable hunting camp, used for warming, cooking and conversation, they also pose a wildfire threat if not used properly.

Campfires should be situated in open areas on mineral soil or gravel bars, not near grass or under trees. Surrounding a campfire with a rock ring will help keep it contained but no fire, even those inside rings or pits, should be left unattended for any length of time. Hunters need to completely extinguish campfires before leaving campsites, which means drowning the fire repeatedly with water and stirring it until it is cold to the touch.

Likewise, hunters should ensure that spark arrestors on ATVS, chainsaws and other motorized equipment are in good working order before heading out into the field. Watch for grass buildup on engines and mufflers that could fall off and ignite a wildfire.

“It’s been a busy wildfire season in Alaska this year, but fire activity is winding down and we don’t need any new fires,” State Forester Chris Maisch said. “Hunters need to be responsible for any campfire they start and monitor fires properly to ensure they don’t escape.”

Hunters who spot a wildfire should call 911 to report it.

CONTACT: Division of Forestry Public Information Officer Tim Mowry, 907-356-5512, 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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