Wildland fire season has arrived in Southcentral Alaska. An escaped lawn fire destroyed a storage shed on East End Road over the weekend.
Called the Bradley Fire, it was reported to Kachemak Emergency Services at approximately 3:40 p.m. Saturday. A woman told the State Division of Forestry staff she was burning off dead grass on her lawn when the wind picked up, carried the fire across her driveway into more grass and ignited a covered storage area. The fire, at about three-fourths of an acre, was contained a little after 5 p.m. Forestry had no damage estimate, and there were no injuries reported.
With the winter snowpack just about completely melted off and no precipitation to speak of this month, conditions are extremely dry in the region, increasing the likelihood of grass fires. The exposed, dry grass at this time of year is considered a very volatile fuel that can ignite and spread quickly to nearby structures or the wildlands.
In the Mat-Su Borough, meanwhile, State Forestry firefighters and prevention staff responded to three different grass fires within a two-hour time frame on Sunday. That was in addition to three grass fires last week. The biggest of the three fires over the past weekend, the Sailor Fire, burned approximately 2 acres.
Burn permits with safe burning practices printed on them are required for any open debris burning, the use of burn barrels or to burn off lawns on all state, municipal and private lands in Alaska from April 1 to August 31. Burn permits are free and are available at local state forestry offices, many local fire departments and can found online.