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Caribou Fire/Red Flag Warning

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Alaska Division of Forestry Photo/Tim Whitesell
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A tanker drops retardant to stop the spread of the Kasigluk Fire (#139) in the village of Kasigluk in Southwest Alaska

A fire started yesterday afternoon at the end of East End Road, approximately two miles west of the Fox River.

The Caribou Fire was addressed with multiple air units called up to drop flame retardant, and smokejumpers and a Hotshot Crew arriving to cut a fireline around the perimeter.

“So the good work of yesterday… …Really important to catch it small, and we were able to.”

That was Kale Casey, Public Information Officer for the Division of Forestry. The concern is if multiple fires need to be controlled, that resources will need to be split up, making them less effective. Casey asks that the public is vigilant in keeping any fires from starting in light of the fact that nearly all of the fires in the state so far this year have been human caused. There is a Red Flag Warning has been issued for the Kenai Peninsula, due to a combination of warm temperatures, very low humidity, and strong winds. These conditions increase the possibility of a fire starting and getting out of control.

“It’s pretty obvious that AK is playing… …We need people to really pay attention to get us through this weekend.”

In addition to the current burn permit suspension which prohibits any burning aside from small campfires or cookfires, residents are advised to not throw cigarettes, matches, or other burning materials from moving vehicles, and to extinguish all outdoor fires properly by drowning them with plenty of water and stirring the ashes to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Do not leave any fires unattended, and have water and other tools nearby to help you put it out. Sparks or embers can blow into dry leaves and grass, igniting them and spreading quickly.

“Residents should be following… …That people worry about.”

That was Kale Casey, Division of Forestry Public Information Officer. In addition to signing up for KPB Alerts, residents can get current information on ongoing fires and suppression efforts at www.akfireinfo.com.

Josh is a graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in communications and broadcasting, and a Certified Audio Engineer through the Society of Broadcast Engineers. At 13, he got his first taste for public radio when he interned at KBBI, an experience that shaped his career. Josh returns to Homer after twelve years with Classical 90.7 KVNO, in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was senior audio engineer and production coordinator. Previously he was station manager/general manager of KUHB-FM, St. Paul, Alaska, in the Pribilof Islands.