The Alaska Division of Forestry and Fire Protection (DOF) will burn hundreds of piles of black spruce slash cut in recent years as part of a Fairbanks North Star Borough wildfire mitigation program that created fuel breaks next to the Cripple Creek and Goldstream AK subdivisions west and north of Fairbanks, respectively.
Weather permitting, DOF’s Fairbanks Area Forestry office will start burning this week and continue through October, said Gordon Amundson, DOF Fire Management Officer. There are approximately 2,000 to 2,500 slash piles remaining, each about 10 feet around and four feet tall. Local residents may see smoke from the burning.
“Burning the piles now when conditions are cool and wet will reduce chances of any escapement and minimize adverse impacts from smoke,” Amundson said. “This will create fuel breaks that will enhance public safety and wildland fire response by removing large accumulations of flammable vegetation, primarily black spruce.”
Completed as part of the 2009 Fairbanks North Star Borough Community Wildfire Protection Plan, the two fuel reduction projects cover 79 acres. The Cripple Creek Subdivision piles are in a 32-acre parcel north of the Parks Highway near Pear Tree Loop, Parks Ridge Road, and Spirit Court, and in a 21-acre parcel south of the Parks Highway and west of Violin Circle, Harp Court and Mandolin Circle. The piles in the Goldstream AK Subdivision, near Milepost 4 of Goldstream Road, are in two parcels north of Goldstream Road: one 16-acre parcel north of Clifden and Molly roads, and a 10-acre parcel south of Ballina Road.
Wildland firefighters from the Fairbanks Area Forestry station, the DOF White Mountain Fire Crew and the UAF Nanooks Wildland Fire Crew did the cutting over the last five years. Fairbanks Area Forestry firefighters and DOF Emergency Firefighting crews will oversee the prescribed burning. Their priority is to complete pile burning in the Goldstream areas this fall.
Pile burning will follow Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) guidelines. Signs will be posted in the neighborhoods where burning will occur. DOF is working with ADEC and the National Weather Service to forecast and monitor smoke conditions to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal air quality regulations.
CONTACT: Gordon Amundson, (907) 451-2634, email@example.com