• 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

  • News

    Diners charged months after eating at Anchorage restaurant

    by Bonney Bowman on Feb 08, 22:41

      ANCHORAGE — If you ate at a popular Anchorage restaurant recently, you might want to check your bank account. People who ate at Benihana in Anchorage toward the end of 2015 might finally be charged for their meal this week. Tanny Walker told KTVA she ate at the restaurant in November and the payment […]

  • News

    ‘Schools on the Edge’ Part One: Twin Hills

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 08, 22:32

      ANCHORAGE — The State of Alaska is in a budget crisis, and one lawmaker says education is not off limits. Rep. Lynn Gattis said she wants to change how the state funds rural schools. Right now, a village needs a minimum of 10 students to get state funding. Gattis said she wants to see that number […]

  • News

    Lake Hood pilot: Air traffic control stretched too thin

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 08, 22:24

      ANCHORAGE — Arctic Flyers is one of the many small businesses that dot the shoreline of Lake Hood. The company’s owner, Rick Ruess, says recent flights into and out of the lake have made him nervous. For the last year, he says there is often one air traffic controller managing both Lake Hood and Ted […]

  • Lifestyle

    Tribal and non-tribal voices discuss VAWA across jurisdictions

    by Anna Rose MacArthur/KYUK on Feb 08, 21:54

    This story originates from KYUK Public Media and was published with permission.  BETHEL — The first day of the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, training began Monday in Bethel. The three-day session marks the first VAWA training in the state since Alaska’s Attorney General, Craig Richards, issued an opinion last summer that law enforcement must uphold […]

  • News

    Changing a neighborhood through community art

    by Heather Hintze on Feb 08, 21:21

      ANCHORAGE — Two Anchorage artists want to make Mountain View a more peaceful neighborhood. Aurora Sidney-Ando and Christina Determo started the Whale Song Peace Project. They’re creating a large sculpture for the neighborhood they hope will get people talking about ways to make positive changes. “It’s a call to action and to teach people […]

  • News

    15 year old killed in Wasilla collision

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 08, 20:19

    A 15 year old has died after being struck by a vehicle while he was out walking. The teen, identified as Austin Edenfield, was walking on the shoulder of Pittman Road Monday afternoon when a southbound vehicle struck him, according to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers were notified of the collision just after 3 p.m. and […]

  • News

    FAA says there are now more registered drone operators than licensed pilots

    by Associated Press on Feb 08, 20:01

    The Federal Aviation Administration says there are now more registered drone operators in the U.S. than there are licensed pilots. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a legal forum on Monday that the agency passed the milestone last week when it topped 325,000 registered drone owners. There are 320,000 licensed pilots of manned aircraft. Huerta said […]

  • News

    MSBSD aggressively recruiting new teachers and staff

    by Shannon Ballard on Feb 08, 19:50

      ANCHORAGE — The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District is aggressively recruiting new teachers and staff. District wide enrollment went up by nearly 800 new students just this year. That means more education jobs. The problem is finding qualified applicants to fill them, according to district officials. About 160 people were hired this school year. The district needs to […]