• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers: Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA - Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 33s

Wildfire season off to early start

By Shannon Ballard 8:59 PM April 18, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Wildfire season in Alaska is unfortunately getting off to an early start.

Already the Division of Forestry says 23 small fires have popped up around the state — including one on Thursday just off the Glenn Highway.

It has officials worried, they say.

Nearly everywhere forester John See looks he finds dry brush and dry trees, which is exactly where wildfires thrive.

“It doesn’t take much heat beneath a spruce tree for it to torch,” See said, who works for Anchorage Fire Department.

He expects this year’s wildfire season to come on strong. Snowpack is low and early spring temperatures are above normal. It’s now, before things green up, that the risk is the highest.

“All it takes is a nice, warm wind and a sunny day and then we’re back in the wildland  seasons,” said Anchorage firefighter Ed Scully.

For years the Anchorage Hillside has been one of the biggest concerns for the fire department. Flames spread up the hill toward homes surrounded by dense vegetation and limited access.

See works with Hillside residents like John Klein to protect their homes.

“The hillside is a big concern for fire. For us, it could wipe out our property,” Klein said.

Klein removed trees and cleared brush away from his home last year, making him feel much more prepared.

“After it’s happened it’s too late. But we can take these steps,” Klein said.

Firefighters say they’re ready for wildfires, but Anchorage is a city built in a forest and dry conditions are stacked against them.

Foresters say people start the majority of fires in the Anchorage Bowl.

Check out the muni website for burn tips and how to do it safely.

If you are caught burning on a no-burn day expect a fine, AFD says.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    SpaceX says it will fly 2 people around the moon next year

    by Associated Press on Feb 27, 13:23

    SpaceX says it will fly two people to the moon next year. Company chief Elon Musk announced the surprising news Monday. Two people who know one another approached the company about sending them on a weeklong flight just beyond the moon. Musk won’t identify the pair or the price tag. He says they’ve already paid […]

  • On-Air

    Teacher of the Week: Laura Freeman

    by James Gaddis on Feb 27, 12:14

    For the first time in Laura Freeman’s 16-year teaching career, she is teaching just one subject — math. KTVA 11’s Teacher of the Week was instrumental in changing the fifth and sixth grade class structure, at Baxter Elementary School, to a middle school model. This year, the school’s oldest students have a different teacher for math, english, […]

  • Weather

    Plow crews reopen Elliott Highway, work to open Steese

    by Associated Press on Feb 27, 10:28

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Heavy snowfall and strong winds closed two northern Alaska highways over the weekend. Alaska Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says crews have reopened the Elliott Highway after a closure Sunday and are working to reopen the Steese Highway. She says truckers heading for North Slope oil fields face hazardous conditions […]

  • News

    Wasilla man killed in snowmachine wreck in Talkeetna

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 9:30

    A 19-year-old was killed in a snowmachine wreck in Talkeetna Sunday. At 3:20 p.m., Alaska State Troopers were notified of a “possible fatality in the area of the Talkeetna Mountains, near Yoder Road, in Talkeetna,” the agency said. Jacob Harris, of Wasilla, was found underneath his idling snowmachine near a steep embankment. He was unresponsive. Other […]

  • News

    AST: 1 killed in Butte house fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 9:20

    A woman was killed and a man was injured in a house fire on South Knik River Road Sunday, according to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers and the Mat-Su Fire Department were called to the home at 12:54 p.m. for a report of a residence fully engulfed in flames, with one woman still inside, AST said. “Investigation revealed […]

  • Lifestyle

    Chugiak first responder thankful for community support after snowboarding accident

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 27, 7:30

    A Chugiak first responder who’s used to rescuing other people found himself on the other side of an accident last week. Peter Casey works as a flight paramedic for LifeMed Alaska and helps out with Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue. In his free time, the lifelong Alaskan enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family. But […]

  • Poll: US teens disillusioned, divided by politics

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 27, 6:17

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A survey of children ages 13 to 17 finds that America’s teens are almost as politically disillusioned and pessimistic about the nation’s divisions as their parents. But they aren’t quite as quick to write off the future as adults. The poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds […]

  • News

    Hostetler Park renovation project includes new plan for Alaska Victims Memorial

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 26, 18:45

    A small park in the northwest corner of downtown Anchorage will soon have a new look. Hostetler Park is located where Third Avenue becomes L Street. Since 1994, the eastern portion of the park has been occupied by the Alaska Victims Memorial. It includes the names of more than 350 Alaskans who died because of […]