• 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

    New housing development set to break ground near downtown Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 23, 22:53

    Plans for a new housing project near downtown Anchorage are well underway, according to its developer.  Known as Downtown Edge, the development is part of a larger project designed to improve an area between downtown and the Port of Anchorage. Downtown Edge will consist of 28 townhouses that will boast a view of Mount Susitna, […]

  • News

    Anchorage skier killed by avalanche in Canada

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 23, 22:50

    A 32-year-old Anchorage woman died in Canada Saturday morning after she and two friends were caught in an avalanche. The group had been skiing in the back country near Qua Peak in British Columbia when the avalanche occurred, according to a statement from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). “The three were described as experienced […]

  • Troopers: Home invasion turns into homicide investigation

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 23, 21:29

    What was initially reported by Alaska State Troopers as a home invasion and shooting has since become a homicide investigation. In an online dispatch published Monday morning, troopers said the incident was reported at 8:47 p.m. on Sunday in Soldotna. One person was injured and taken to Central Peninsula Hospital with life-threatening injuries, the Peninsula […]

  • Caught on camera: Midtown store burglarized for third time

    by Eric Ruble on Jan 23, 20:50

    Employees at the Nutz Gadget store in midtown Anchorage are frustrated. Early Saturday morning, thieves burglarized the business for the third time in less than six months. Thankfully, the store’s security cameras captured the entire incident. In the footage, two people can be seen approaching the store and breaking a hole in the front door’s […]

  • Lifestyle

    Lithium batteries the culprits in Samsung Note 7 debacle, company finds

    by Kris Van Cleave / CBS News on Jan 23, 20:28

    It was overheating Samsung Galaxy Note 7 incidents that prompted a worldwide recall and months-long investigation by 700 Samsung engineers. Over 200,000 devices and more than 30,000 lithium-ion batteries were tested. Samsung found that a design defect — incorrect battery positioning in the Galaxy Note 7’s upper right corner –caused the first wave of problems. […]

  • Politics

    BP signs cooperation agreement with state to advance gas project

    by Liz Raines on Jan 23, 20:15

    Alaska’s plans for a liquefied natural gas pipeline got a bit of a boost Monday. Oil giant BP and the state have inked a new agreement that calls for BP to assist the state in finding financing for its gas project, known as AKLNG. In August, BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil announced they were ending their […]

  • News

    Anchorage crews repair hundreds of street signs damaged by drivers

    by Heather Hintze on Jan 23, 19:51

    Drivers having a tough time on snowy roads have been taking a toll on street signs. The municipality’s Paint and Sign Shop reported 971 repairs so far this winter; last winter crews repaired 1802 signs. As the snow piles up around town, the orders at the shop start to stack up too. “There’s your perfect […]

  • Lifestyle

    Heavy snow not a big concern for Anchorage roofs yet, company says

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jan 23, 19:47

    A local roofing company said most Anchorage residents don’t need to start shoveling their roofs yet, or worry too much about the snow load. Jason Dial, with Rain Proof Roofing, said in most circumstances, the company recommends shoveling when snow reaches a height of about 32 inches. He said most people in Anchorage still have […]