• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: Juneau mayor, Greg Fisk, found dead, police investigating - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 45s

Wildfire protection program to end

By MJ Thim 9:34 PM May 16, 2014

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

  • Sports

    Alaska cousins finally meet through basketball

    by Dave Goldman on Nov 30, 22:18

    Basketball players can come from anywhere and everywhere, and on the Eagle River Christian High School team, they do. But where Wallace Unwiluk is from is only a part of the curiosity. How he arrived in Anchorage is another. Wallace hails from Gambell, Alaska, which is “approximately 45 miles from Russia.” Wallace’s cousin, Khalil, plays for Eagle River Christian. One […]

  • News

    Upcycling creates wool sweater shortage at Anchorage thrift stores

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 30, 20:00

    People who repurpose wool sweaters say there’s a shortage of the fabric in Anchorage, thanks to the “upcycling” trend. One artist said she gets sweaters shipped in from her sister in Canada, and another stocks up during the summer. “Upcycling” is ushering in a new wave of innovation. Entrepreneurs like Bonnie Getter have created entire businesses around […]

  • News

    Bethel addresses hiring, housing woes with new homes for first responders

    by Bonney Bowman on Nov 30, 19:43

    For communities in rural Alaska, hiring good employees isn’t always the biggest challenge. Sometimes, it’s finding those employees a place to live. “We have a huge lack of housing, especially a lack of quality housing,” said Bethel Community Services Foundation executive director, Michelle DeWitt. That lack can lead to problems, especially when it comes to […]

  • News

    Juneau mayor found dead, police investigating

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 18:27

    Updated at 9:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30 Juneau’s Mayor Stephen “Greg” Fisk was found dead in his home Monday afternoon, according to Juneau Police. His adult son reportedly called 911 at 3:34 p.m. to report he had found his father dead inside his residence on the 400 block of Kennedy Street in Juneau, a statement […]

  • Politics

    Group files for petition to repeal Anchorage equal rights ordinance

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 18:05

    A group led by a conservative morning talk show host is trying to repeal Anchorage’s equal rights ordinance. On Wednesday, KFQD host Bernadette Wilson filed for a petition with the municipal clerk’s office. The proposed petition would ask voters “Shall AO No. 2015-96 (S1) (as amended), an ordinance adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Title […]

  • News

    Alaska State Troopers create new unit to focus on violent crimes

    by Associated Press on Nov 30, 17:58

    Alaska State Troopers say a new unit has been created to focus on violent crimes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region. Troopers say a patrol sergeant and two patrol troopers from the Bethel post have been assigned to the new violent offenders unit. Officials say the unit officially will be established on Tuesday. The changes have […]

  • News

    Video of Anchorage teen being assaulted prompts outrage, $100,000 lawsuit

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 30, 17:49

    ANCHORAGE — The father of an Anchorage teenager who was filmed being beaten by a group of fellow teens has filed a lawsuit against the homeowner where the attack allegedly occurred, seeking over $100,000, according to court documents. The video, which was recorded July 26, 2015, shows a group of girls — ranging in age […]

  • News

    Former BPD officers accused of misconduct still have police certifications

    by Lakeidra Chavis/KYUK on Nov 30, 14:38

    This story originates from KYUK Public Media and was published with permission.  BETHEL — In a little over a year, the Bethel Police Department has had two high profile cases of police misconduct–one involving police brutality and the other an attempted rape. The department is still working to improve its hiring practices, and its unclear if either of […]