• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 45s

Wildfire protection program to end

By MJ Thim 9:34 PM May 16, 2014
PALMER –

A decade-old program in the Matanuska Valley designed to help people protect their homes from wildfires is running out of money.

“I’m very sorry it’s ending locally,” said Beatrice Adler, director of the Ember Program.

The grant-funded program has enough money to operate until September, she said.

“I know personally it’s made a big difference,” Adler said. “For example, some years ago the Su Valley High School burned and we were told by the firefighters that if it had not been for the zone of defensible space, that this program created around that school building, the fire would have burned into the surrounding subdivisions.”

One of goals of the program is to teach people to think like an ember, she said.

“If you think of a fire that started in the woods, perhaps by lightening or a campfire, the embers will come off of that fire and come towards your home,” she said.

Homes and the surrounding yards are fuel for a wildfire, said Michieal Abe, a wildfire mitigation technician with the program.

Abe goes out to people’s home and points out the fire hazards.

One of the things she explains are the dangers certain decks cause in the backyard.

“It [the deck] has nice wide planks with gaps,” Abe said. “This allows for grass or leaves to tender load underneath the deck and then you have the potential for embers coming down on top of that.”

She said people need to create defensible space by keeping all flammable things 30 feet away from their homes when the fire risk is high.

Defensible space makers include gravel, flowers and green grass because it keeps the ground cool and wet, Abe said.

Abe stressed to rake the dead grass away and not to burn it.

She said she’s visited 1,000 homes working for the Ember Program.

Adler said she is applying for grants to continue the program. In the meantime, she and Abe will continue to teach people how to declutter their yards and make it as green and safe as possible.

They said their motto is lean, green and clean.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Summer school students get their diplomas in special graduation ceremony

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 28, 22:52

    Eighteen Anchorage students received their high school diplomas Tuesday at a ceremony at East High School. The group of teens from eight local high schools was part of the summer school program, which allowed them to complete their graduation requirements. One of the graduates, Bartlett High School’s Isaiah Alston, said it was a relief to […]

  • News

    M/V Susitna ready for sale to the Philippine Red Cross

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 28, 21:23

    The Matanuska-Susitna Borough got good news Tuesday about its ferry, which never transported any passengers and is in the process of being sold. Crews in Seattle have been working to repair the M/V Susitna‘s four water damaged engines. On June 23, the boat passed sea trials with representatives from the Philippine Red Cross and Mat-Su […]

  • Lifestyle

    FDA approves first pill to treat all forms of hepatitis C

    by Associated Press on Jun 28, 20:41

    Federal health officials on Tuesday approved the first pill to treat all major forms of hepatitis C, the latest in a series of drug approvals that have reshaped treatment of the liver-destroying virus. The Food and Drug Administration approved the combination pill, Epclusa, from Gilead Sciences, for patients with and without liver damage. The new drug’s […]

  • News

    Young gardeners grow food for children in need

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 28, 20:12

    Some Anchorage kids are exploring nature, playing in the dirt and growing a passion for helping those less fortunate than themselves. Education specialist Patrick Ryan said most children would love gardening if simply given the chance. He teaches the Junior Master Gardener day camp each summer at the Alaska Botanical Garden. “I just want them to […]

  • News

    JBER Fisher House expanding to meet the needs of military patients and families

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 28, 19:59

    The Fisher House on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson offers veterans, service members and their families a free place to stay if they have to travel to Anchorage for medical treatment. The house opened four years ago, but need has been so high, the organization is now planning to expand. House manager Jenny Hall said they can […]

  • Crime

    Driver charged with murder, kidnapping following Monday night crash in East Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 28, 17:00

    Last updated at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 The Anchorage Police Department says a driver involved in a collision late Monday night is facing charges of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, among others. At 11:40 p.m., police responded to the scene of a crash on the 2800 block of Debarr Road. A Subaru, driven […]

  • News

    Governor appoints Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska attorney general

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 28, 16:30

    Gov. Bill Walker named Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska’s next attorney general Tuesday. She will take over for Craig Richards, who resigned June 23. “I am pleased to welcome Jahna Lindemuth as a member of my cabinet and the new leader of the Alaska Department of Law,” Walker said in a statement. “Jahna was one of […]

  • News

    Alaska to receive $2.5 million from emissions-cheating settlement against Volkswagen

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 28, 15:30

    More than 1,200 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles with emission test-cheating technology have been sold in the state of Alaska, prompting the state’s Department of Law to join more than 30 other states in a settlement against the company. The settlement requires Volkswagen to pay more than $570 million to the participating states for the marketing and […]