The Firewise Home Assessment Program is popular within the Municipality of Anchorage to better protect homes from wildfires — but the program may be too popular.

The Anchorage Fire Department says due to an overwhelming public response home inspections may delayed until next spring for new applications.

"Anchorage experienced an extremely dry summer, accompanied by significant spruce bark beetle and wildfire activity which has dramatically increased interest in the program," an AFD community alert reads.

The department visits homes and offers people specific recommendations on how to maintain their property to better protect against wildfires. The firewise program even offers financial assistance to cut down beetle killed trees if AFD recommends that.

However, AFD wants people to know that the program is not beetle-kill tree removal program. The department said the cooperating tree service companies are also experiencing an increase in workload, creating more delays.

The department says it's important that homeowners remove dry vegetation, including beetle-killed spruce trees, as soon as they can regardless of the availability of financial assistance.

"The hazards that these trees pose in homeowner's yards, due to wildfires and the likelihood of being blown down in windstorms should be mitigated as soon as possible," the alert reads.

Anyone wanting more information can call 907-267-4935 or email

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