We received a question last week during the Talk of Alaska radio program relating to outreach to the youth in our state. Younger Alaskans are especially heavily impacted by wildfires when schools are evacuated, their houses impacted, or the summer air is heavy with smoke. The youth are also very important partners in wildfire prevention and preparedness. Within what will soon be renamed the Division of Forestry & Fire Protection (July 1st), there are several types of professional wildland firefighters who regularly interface with younger Alaskans. These are career firefighters who work in fire prevention, initial attack, or who might be on light duty from a hot shot or hand crew. Mat-Su’s Fire Resource Technician Robin Ace both works on the initial attack helicopter responding to new fire starts, and is also an outreach specialist who brings student groups up close to learn about aerial firefighting helicopters, tactical engines and the warehouse. Whether the outreach effort is in schools or on site at a Forestry station such as pictured here, the student’s teachers are involved and coordinate to provide a safe and engaging educational experience. We are all in this together so make sure both you and the younger Alaskans in your life are “wildfire ready” and understand the Ready-Set-Go evacuation system. Please follow all burn permit suspensions and burn suspensions as soon as they are put in place. Alaska is becoming tinder dry, and we all need to be ready to safely evacuate due to a fast moving wildfire.
The Division of Forestry & Fire Protection (DOF) provides wildland fire protection for over 150 million acres of state, private and municipal lands throughout Alaska. DOF works closely with federal, state, and local emergency response agencies as well as private industry vendors to provide wildland fire management and protection for the State of Alaska.
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