Protecting the communities of Meadow Lakes and Houston from continuous fire prone fuels has long been a shared goal between the local communities and the Division of Forestry. Public comments for this two phase multi year 6.2 mile fuel break are due Monday April 25th, 2022. With a width of 200 feet, this fuel break will be located on state land north of the Little Susitna River. Referred to as the Sunset Fuels Break, work on a three mile section called Sunset Fuels Phase 1 is scheduled to begin in September. This is one of many hazardous fuels reduction programs that are being funded in Alaska by the availability of 17 million dollars from the Capitol Improvement Program (CIP).
This significant increase in funding allows additional Hazard Fuel Reduction Programs to be proposed, accelerated, or completed. Over the next months and years there will be an increase in the number of treated acres. The work will be completed by either wildland fire crews or private contractors. Removing fuels with machines is often performed in the winter by contractors, while wildland fire crews cut shaded fuel breaks in sensitive riparian areas in the spring and fall between fire season assignments.
The intent of this project and most fuels reduction projects is to remove hazardous fuels and mitigate spruce beetle kill along the borders of private property, primarily through the mechanical mastication of vegetation within the project area. DOF fire staff and wildland fire crews will also work on this project, creating a narrower shaded fuel break within riparian corridors, steep terrain, and at the west end of the project area where the alignment approaches private property. Pioneer Peak Hot Shots and Gannett Glacier Type 2 Initial Attack hand crew, both based in Palmer, will engage on this project in sensitive areas not suited for mechanical mastication. The bulk of the work both on the Sunset Phase 1 and across Alaska will be completed by private sector contractors, who will complete the mechanical treatments during winter months when the ground is frozen. The proposed alignment is on existing trails, seismic and section lines. Access to the beginning of the project is on existing gravel logging roads.
This project is proposed to begin September 1st, 2022 and end by April 30th, 2025, with mechanical work being completed over the winter months when the ground is frozen. The deadline for comments is Monday April 25th, 2022.
DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS: April 25, 2022
The public is invited to comment on this activity. The purpose of this notice is to gather input before a decision is made on this activity. To ensure consideration, written comments must be received by the Division of Mining, Land and Water at the Southcentral Regional Land Office, 550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 900C, Anchorage, AK 99501-3577 on or before 5:00 PM on the date noted above. Questions concerning this activity or requests to view the full application packet should be directed to Peter Mueller, Telephone: (907)269-8569; Fax: (907) 269-8913 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.