Thursday, May 23, 2013
Warmer Temps, High Winds Heighten Wildfire Danger
This season, 170 wildfires have burned nearly 3,000 acres across the state.
The Alaska wildfire season is well underway and fire officials say we can expect more activity this summer due to dry weather conditions.
Over the last week, three major fires have popped up across the state, including two in Delta and one 800-acre fire that started a few days ago on Moose Mountain near Fairbanks; the fire has been 60 percent contained.
“There are currently crews and air tankers and engines on those fires,” said Dennis Ricker, a retired Alaska Division of Forestry coastal region aviation manager.
As more Alaskans go outdoors for recreational activities, unintentional wildfires are an increasing concern every summer.
“We’re just hoping that people are cautious,” said Ricker.
Not only are fire officials concerned with wildfires in the state, they’re also worried about brush fires across the city, which are fueled by straw-like grass found in the state. More than 79 brush fires have been put out since April, and officials say most of those could have been prevented.
“So many people don’t know about them because we extinguish them right away,” said Sue Rodman, an Anchorage Fire Department forester.