Southcentral campfire bans to end this week
Thanks to cooler temperatures and a little rain, the Alaska Division of Forestry is set to put an end to campfire bans across Southcentral this week.
According to a release from the Department of Natural Resources, campfire closures will be lifted starting 8 a.m. Thursday, as the threat of wildfire danger has lessened after recent weather.
After the ban is lifted, people will be allowed to have campfires under 3 feet in diameter in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Copper River Basin and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. In an email Thursday, Seward city clerk Brenda Ballou wrote, "The Forest Order banning open fires on Seward Ranger District are still in effect."
Campfires in designated pits and rings at state campgrounds within the Municipality of Anchorage will also be allowed, but outdoor fires will still be banned within the rest of the municipality.
While campfire closures are being lifted on state, municipal and private grounds, campfire restrictions imposed on federal land by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies will still be in effect. In Southcentral, the lifting of the closure does not affect burn suspensions issued by state forestry offices.
Even though the campfire ban will no longer be in effect, officials ask that anyone using camp or cooking fires should still be vigilant about fire safety.
"Campfires must be less than three feet in diameter, and one should have water and tools nearby to keep them contained," the release states. "Fires should never be left unattended and must be completely extinguished before leaving the site, by drowning the fire repeatedly with water and stirring it with a stick or shovel until it is cold to the touch."
As of Wednesday, DNR reports that over 205 active wildfires are burning across the state, with more than 2,100 firefighting personnel working to contain them. For more information on burn permit suspensions, closures and safe burning practices, visit the DOF website.
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