• 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

    Parnell sheds new light on Alaska National Guard firings

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 21, 18:32

    The day after he fired three Alaska National Guard leaders, Alaska’s governor says more changes are coming. Gov. Sean Parnell says Guard members have expressed frustration over the timeline of the recent adjustments, that have all stemmed from a scathing report released in September. The report, conducted by the Office of Complex Investigations, showed that Guard […]

  • Crime

    Palins describe brawl in police recordings

    by CNN on Oct 21, 18:01

      Washington (CNN) – Bristol Palin describes being dragged through the grass and called a series of obscenities during a massive brawl last month in recordings of Anchorage police interviews that CNN obtained through a public records request. She said she jumped into a fight after “some old lady” pushed her sister, Willow Palin, because “oh […]

  • News

    Orphaned cubs find a home at Fortress of the Bear

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 21, 17:40

    One look at Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear and it’s easy to see how the rescue facility got its name. Brown bears roam around the two large tanks leftover from Sitka’s pulp mill that closed in 1993. “We’ve managed to upcycle these strong, industrial spaces into some really impressive bear habitats,” said bear manager Claire Turner. […]

  • News

    Mat-Su School District temporarily bans military recruitment

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 15:22

    The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has temporarily banned military recruitment from the district’s schools. This announcement follows the Anchorage School District’s ban of all military recruiters after the recent reports of alleged misconduct by Alaska Army National Guard recruiters on school campuses. In a release from the Mat-Su Borough School District, Dr. Deena M. Paramo publicized the change […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage conducts survey on homelessness

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 14:23

    Anchorage residents can voice their opinion in a survey about homelessness in the municipality. The results of the survey will be used as an informational source as officials work toward developing a five-year plan on how to end homelessness, according to a press release. Groups involved in the plan are the Anchorage Department of Health and […]

  • Crime

    Police seek armed robbery suspect, stolen truck

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 13:14

    Police say they are looking for a suspect and a stolen truck after an early morning robbery in South Anchorage. The victim told police she was trying to find a parking spot at an apartment complex on the 1700 block of Lore Road around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when she was approached by a handgun-wielding woman, […]

  • On-Air

    ‘Edge of Alaska’ star discusses life in McCarthy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 11:34

    Located at the foothills of the Wrangell Mountains, 65 miles west of the Yukon Territory border is a place once known as a sinful getaway for the workers of nearby Kennecott. McCarthy, according to the 2010 census, has only 28 yearly residents. This remote location is the setting of a new reality show hitting airwaves on […]

  • Crime

    Man fleeing police arrested outside Juneau school after hit-and-run

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 21, 11:10

    A driver trying to dodge police was arrested after a crash near a Juneau high school Monday. Jose Angel Munoz, 42, was arrested after a collision with an 82-year-old driver, according to a press release from the Juneau Police Department. He was wanted on a warrant issued Sept. 26 for drug and felony driving-under-the-influence charges. […]