• 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

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

  • Crime

    Former caretaker gets 20 years for shooting death

    by Associated Press on Nov 26, 11:59

    A former in-home caretaker will spend 20 years in prison for fatally shooting a blind woman’s husband. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1MGipKm) no time will be suspended for 53-year-old Anthony Wayne Charleston under a sentence issued Wednesday by Superior Court Judge Paul Lyle. Charging documents say the woman called 911 in March 2013 when […]

  • News

    Travel not recommended along Kuskokwim because of thin ice

    by Associated Press on Nov 26, 10:30

    Residents are being advised not to use the Kuskokwim River in western Alaska because of thinning ice. KYUK reports (http://is.gd/Dc29ie) the advisory comes after Bethel Search and Rescue conducted an aerial survey along a 50-mile stretch of the river, from Napaskiak to Tuluksak. Officials report there’s about 50 holes open in the ice along that […]

  • News

    Difficult driving conditions persist on Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 10:14

    Road conditions are still difficult on much of the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage, state transportation officials say. “Travel is still not advised on much of the Parks Highway through the Interior,” the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said on its Facebook page Thanksgiving Day morning. Built-up ice, blowing snow and rough […]

  • News

    Anchorage restaurant offers free meals on Thanksgiving Day

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 26, 9:55

    Some restaurants and organizations in Anchorage are making sure people get a turkey dinner and a slice of pie on Thanksgiving Day. Kriner’s Diner is one place serving up free food for the holiday. Their feast starts at 11 a.m. and meals will be offered to-go. Tips received will go to The Children’s Lunchbox. Click here […]

  • Sports

    UAA women’s basketball falls short against Western Kentucky at Great Alaska Shootout

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 26, 9:35

    In two days the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves have seen how far they’ve come. They’ve also seen how far they want to go. In a game effort, UAA pushed Division I Western Kentucky, but ultimately fell 62- 58. The Seawolves held a 32 -31 halftime lead, keeping it close throughout in the second half.

  • Sports

    Nome fourth grader wins 2016 Iditarod commemorative button contest

    by Laura Kraegel/KNOM on Nov 26, 9:10

    While the last great race is still months away, the Iditarod button design contest already has a champion: Ayla Knodel, a fourth grader at Nome Elementary School. Knodel took first place in the annual contest that has Alaska students create artwork for the commemorative button sold along the trail each March. Having submitted her design early in […]

  • News

    Bean’s Café prepares to feed 1,200 on Thanksgiving

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 25, 22:48

    Trays of turkey are stuffed tucked into every nook and cranny of Bean’s Café’s freezer. “That’s all turkey right there, there’s also turkey here,” Aaron Dollison pointed to the piles of foil platters. After a week of baking the holiday birds, he’s still in good spirits. “We did 84 and we’ll say 20 pounds a […]

  • News

    Collision on Glenn Highway kills driver, hospitalizes passenger

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 25, 21:24

    A collision that briefly closed down half of the Glenn Highway has claimed the life of the driver involved. Around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, a truck traveling northbound on the Glenn Highway reportedly lost control and left the roadway, rolling over, according to a statement from Anchorage police. The crash occurred just past the Mirror Lake […]