Smoke may be visible along the Dalton Highway
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – In mid- to late October, the Bureau of Land Management’s Fairbanks District and Alaska Fire Service personnel will burn woody debris piles near the Dalton Highway at Mileposts 62 and 180 to reduce the risk of wildfire to communities and facilities, and to provide a safe space for firefighters to suppress fires in the future.
“Burning these piles this fall is an important part of ongoing work to dispose of brush cleared during maintenance of public and administrative facilities to provide for public and BLM staff safety,” said Geoff Beyersdorf, Fairbanks district manager. “We appreciate your patience with smoke that may come from the project.”
These prescribed fire burns help to dispose of woody debris from campgrounds and BLM administrative sites along the highway. The burns are planned to begin as early as October 17 but could occur anytime until the end of the month. Ignition will only require one day for each pile, but residual smoke can be expected in the areas for several days following ignition. To help minimize the impact of smoke on communities and highway travelers, the specific timing of ignition will depend on favorable weather and fuel moisture conditions. Crews will be on site for the duration of the burn.
Smoke from the two burns may be visible to motorists on the Dalton Highway, as well as from the communities of Yukon Crossing, Coldfoot, and Wiseman. Most of the smoke will dissipate during the day, but some nighttime smoke may remain in valley bottoms as temperatures drop. The public is reminded to not call emergency services even though smoke may be visible.
Please see the attached map, Dalton Highway Fuel Treatment Locations, for the locations of the prescribed burn.
Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, please visit the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation website: https://dec.alaska.gov/air/smoke-faq/
For more information, please contact Monika Nicholson, fuels specialist for BLM Fairbanks District at (907) 415-8141.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.