• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
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

  • DayBreak

    Mr. Fur Face preview part 1: 5th annual UAA Beard and Mustache competition

    by Rick Rysso on Mar 04, 10:59

    Local bearders recently headed to the University of Alaska Anchorage’s student union to compete in categories ranging from grizzly to baby beard, moustache, partial, and even fake.  Now in it’s 5th year,  the UAA Beard and Stache competition has grown to what some people are calling a warm-up for the state championship — Mr. Fur […]

  • DayBreak

    ‘The Great Alone’ documents musher Lance Mackey’s comeback

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 04, 10:42

    A feature documentary shot in Alaska’s Arctic is capturing the comeback story of arguably the most popular musher in race history, four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey. “I’m always about telling stories of compelling characters and characters that overcome adversity,” said Greg Kohs, director of  ”The Great Alone.” “I don’t think there’s a character that I’ve […]

  • Lifestyle

    Microsoft founder finds WWII Japanese warship

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Mar 04, 10:32

    Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and his research team have found the wreckage of a massive Japanese World War II battleship off the Philippines near where it sank more than 70 years ago, he said Wednesday. The apparent discovery of the Musashi, one of the largest battleships in history, comes as the world marks the 70th […]

  • DayBreak

    On the couch with vlogger Cory Williams, Mar. 4

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 04, 10:27

    How should someone new to Alaska prepare to cover Iditarod? DudeLikeHELLA went straight to the reigning champion to learn more about The Last Great Race, specifically the four-legged athletes. Vlogger Cory Williams was back on the Daybreak couch Wednesday morning to tell viewers about his recent visit with two-time winner Dallas Seavey. Williams said he […]

  • News

    Alaska Native corporation announces record dividend

    by Associated Press on Mar 04, 10:23

    Calista Corp. officials say shareholders are receiving a record dividend. Bethel radio station KYUK (http://is.gd/LLswfX) reports the dividend totals just over $5 million. The individual dividend amount is $3.80 per share. For the average shareholder with 100 shares, that works out to a $380 payout. Calista is the Alaska Native corporation for the Bethel region. […]

  • News

    Alaska receives AAA bond ratings from agencies

    by Associated Press on Mar 04, 7:50

    Alaska has received AAA bond ratings from three ratings agencies for general obligation debt. Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services and Fitch Ratings each gave Alaska a stable outlook. Moody’s Investors Service, meanwhile, had a negative outlook. Low oil prices have exacerbated the state’s budget deficit, projected to be in the billions of dollars this year […]

  • News

    Mao Tosi discusses new group formed to address violence in Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 04, 7:38

    Concerned Anchorage residents recently created a group to address violence in the community. They call the group We Are Anchorage, and they want to let people know the city’s recent shootings are not what Anchorage is all about.

  • News

    Classes cancelled for four Mat-Su Valley schools

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 04, 6:41

    Classes were cancelled at four schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School Wednesday because of icy road conditions, officials say. The closed schools include: Willow Elementary School, Talkeetna Elementary School, Trapper Creek Elementary School and the Su-Valley Junior/Senior High School. All other schools are still open. If students attend a non-traditional Mat-Su school, the district says […]