The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center:
Wildfire starts are caused by campfires, debris burning, barbecue grills, use of all-terrain vehicles, fireworks, target shooting and other favorite recreational activities people enjoy.
Here are a few tips from the Alaska Division of Forestry and BLM Alaska Fire Service to keep in mind this weekend to help reduce the potential for wildfires:
- Never leave a fire of any kind unattended for any length of time.
- In areas where open burning is allowed, make sure you have a Division of Forestry burn permit and follow the safe burning guidelines listed on it. You must call your local state forestry office or go online to ensure burning is allowed on the day you want to burn. For burn permit information, go to http://forestry.alaska.gov/
- Keep campfires small and away from grasses and other vegetation that can catch fire.
- Make sure campfires are completely extinguished by repeatedly drowning them with water and stirring the coals/ashes until they are cold to the touch.
- Have tools and water on site to prevent fires from escaping.
- Dispose of barbecue ashes or coals in a fireproof container; do not dump them in the woods.
- Call 911 immediately if there is a wildland fire emergency.
State and federal fire managers encourage Alaskans and visitors to be careful with any kind of activity that could spark a wildfire. Remember, anyone responsible for starting a wildfire can be held responsible for the suppression costs associated with that fire.