• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 56s

Wildfire danger on the rise in Southcentral

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Emily Landeen - 5:35 PM May 16, 2017
PALMER –

Governor Bill Walker has proclaimed May 14 through 20 Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness week in Alaska.

It’s perfect timing, according to folks with the Division of Forestry, who say the chance of you starting a wildfire in Southcentral right now is on the rise.

“Today and tomorrow they are predicting the higher winds, and those gusty winds are the ones that can catch people off guard,” Mat-Su Fire Management officer Norm McDonald said.

McDonald says his crews have responded to a more than a dozen fires in the last couple weeks, including one in Palmer, which almost burned down a house when a charcoal grill was knocked over by the wind.

Source: Division of Forestry
Charcoal Grill starts grass fire in Palmer

The Division of Forestry also shared photos of a one-acre grass fire in Anchor Point on its Facebook Page. The fire started on Sunday when a hot chainsaw was set down in dry grass.

Source: Division of Forestry
1-acre grass fire in Anchor Point ignited from hot chainsaw

“With the human-caused fires, it can be just about anything you can think of and we’ll get a fire start from it,” McDonald said.

On Tuesday morning, fire danger in the valley was moderate, but as the winds pick up in the evening, McDonald said they’ll likely bump the fire danger level to high.

Dry grass and spruce trees are extremely volatile fuels, and McDonald says it’ll stay that way until things green up and we get some rain.

While some fires this year have started in more unusual ways, the Division of Forestry says oftentimes, human-caused wildfires were started by debris piles.

In fact, last year the state reports 90 of the 373 wildfires in Alaska were caused by debris burning.

While you need a burn permit, fire officials say you also need to follow proper burn guidelines.

Visit http://forestry.alaska.gov/burn for more information about safe burning practices in Alaska.

Latest Stories

  • News

    People Mover holding public meetings to discuss new bus system

    by Daniella Rivera on Jul 23, 18:06

    Changes to People Mover’s bus route system won’t go into effect until October, but public meetings are happening this week to get riders on board with the transit overhaul. The system will go from having 15 routes to 13 shorter, more direct routes with buses arriving more frequently, route numbers and colors will change, and […]

  • American student arrested in China has been freed, senator says

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Jul 23, 17:27

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the Asian nation a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday. Guthrie McLean, a University of Montana senior, was released […]

  • $53M to go to U.S. national park maintenance, infrastructure

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 17:02

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced more than $50 million for maintenance and infrastructure work at national parks. Zinke made the announcement Saturday at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. With him was Colorado U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. The funding would go to 42 parks in 29 states. The Interior Department says in a release […]

  • Politics

    Initiative to regulate bathrooms likely to appear on ballot

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 16:45

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A new rule on sex, gender, and bathrooms looks likely to go before Anchorage voters next spring. Alaska Public Media reports a release by the Alaska Family Action Council states supporters submitted nearly 8,500 signatures Thursday to the municipal Clerk’s Office, backing a measure that seeks to regulate bathrooms, locker rooms […]

  • Politics

    Trump tweets frustration with Republicans

    by Associated Press on Jul 23, 16:36

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is expressing his frustration with Republicans, saying they “do very little to protect their President.” In a tweet Sunday, Trump says this happens even with “some that were carried over the line on my back.” The president isn’t making clear exactly why he’s upset. But his tweet comes as […]

  • Dramatic video shows Starbucks customer fighting off armed robber

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 16:26

    FRESNO, Calif. — Police in Fresno, California, have released dramatic surveillance footage showing a customer stepping in to prevent an armed robbery at a Starbucks. Authorities said the video shows a hero taking down a man who will soon face many felony charges, CBS affiliate KGPE-TV in Fresno reports. Cregg Jerri, 58, was enjoying his […]

  • Parents arrested for giving newborn daughter meth, heroin, morphine, police say

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 16:03

    SPANISH FORK, Utah — Police said a mother and father were arrested after they gave their newborn daughter drugs on the day she was born, CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City reports. Colby Glen Wilde, 29, and 26-year-old Lacey Dawn Christenson face drug distribution and child endangerment charges, authorities said. “They administered the drug […]

  • Lifestyle

    John Heard, ‘Home Alone’ actor, dies at 71

    by CBS News on Jul 23, 12:01

    John Heard, the actor best known for his roles in “Home Alone” and “The Sopranos,” has died, the Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed to CBS News. He was 71. Early reports from TMZ said Heard was found dead in his hotel room in Palo Alto, California. Earlier this week, representatives for Heard told TMZ the […]