Snow may still be covering the ground at your home but the official start of fire season in Alaska is April 1st. That means burn permits are now required on all state, municipal and private land.
Howie Kent, Fire Management Officer from the Alaska Division of Forestry says don’t wait for next month if you’re planning on burning. Now is the time to clear your brush and slash.
“Knowing that May and June are our two highest months of human-caused fires because of debris burning. We’re looking again this year to implement a burn suspension during those months, so I’m encouraging people to get out there and get their burning done early, before May arrives."
There are two levels of permitted burning, small and large. A small burn pile is ten feet in diameter or smaller. Anything larger, Kent says, must be inspected by Forestry before the permit is issued. Plus, the permit has a phone number on it that you must call every day before you burn.
Kent says, if you don’t want to burn and need to get rid of your woody debris, there is another option.
“You know if you have yard debris or otherwise, you can take that to the landfill. They’re accepting that material. Or, just wait. Tarp you pile or whatever you have and wait until it is permissible to burn,' said Kent.
Fire season officially runs through August 31, though some years the end date is extended. Preparing your home for fire season means clearing space around your house. At Division of Forestry, Kent is the person who handles initial response to wildfire from Kenai to Kodiak. He says the State’s Firewise program has information about how to best protect your home and land during fire season.
“…getting the needle litter and the leaf litter out of rain gutters. There’s quite a bit of debris that’s usually raked up, gathered up this time of the year, taking measures to prevent fire from getting into your woodpile or on to your deck. Think about fire season coming, And, just really take a good look at how fire might impact you,” Kent said.
That’s Howie Kent, Fire Management Officer from the Alaska Division of Forestry.
Apply for your burn permit online at forestry.alaska.gov/burn. You can also find Firewise information on protecting your home this fire season through the Alaska Division of Forestry.
If you can't use the internet to obtain a permit, call (907) 260-4200