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Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week is April 28 - May 4 2013

(Fairbanks, AK) — Governor Sean Parnell has issued a proclamation designating April 28 through May 4 as Alaska Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week. The Alaska Division of Forestry and the interagency firefighting community encourage Alaskan residents and visitors to use this week as a prompt to consider and discuss with family and friends ways to prevent fires, prepare for fires, and be aware of information resources available.
The proclamation emphasizes that naturally-caused wildland fires are part of the state’s ecosystem, but Alaskans must use precautions and practice wildland fire prevention and preparedness to protect the communities that are surrounded by and intermingled with undeveloped lands. Fires caused by people occur every year, and pose a direct threat to residents and firefighters alike.
Response to wildland fires, both lightning and human-caused, results in a balancing act that emphasizes personal safety, reducing loss of life, and acknowledges the importance of healthy forests. Wildland fire agencies, communities, and individuals all share the responsibility to be proactive to prevent, prepare, and be aware.
Prevent! Remember, it only takes a spark to start a fire! Unwanted, human-caused fires pose the most direct, but preventable, risk to public safety as they are likely to occur in close proximity to towns, villages, and communities near undeveloped lands. Be cautious with anything that could start a wildland fire- even the unexpected. Recreational activities, based on the time of year and weather conditions, may lead to unintentional fires. Learn about safe burning practices, debris burning, and burn barrels at: http://forestry.alaska.gov/burn/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/AlaskaDNRDOF.
Prepare! How fast can your house run?! Homeowners can take effective measures to protect their homes and property. Adopting Firewise principles can reduce the risk of damage or loss due to a wildland fire. Several
resources are available, including the Firewise Alaska brochure (http://forestry.alaska.gov/pdfs/firewise09.pdf), the Rural Alaska Fire Prevention movie (www.mediabasket.com, http://www.youtube.com/user/AlaskaDNRDOF), and knowledgeable staff at the local Division of Forestry (DOF) office. The Alaska Firewise brochure also provides suggestions for pre-emergency planning, what to do during a wildfire, and how to make an evacuation go more smoothly.
Be Aware! Fire information sources are available! The Interagency Coordination Center website http://fire.ak.blm.gov/ provides current fire information, maps, statistics, and more. Additional DOF information sources include: http://forestry.alaska.gov/wildland.htm, http://www.facebook.com/AK.Forestry, http://twitter.com/ak_forestry.
Throughout April 28-May 4, the Division of Forestry Facebook and Twitter pages will highlight different aspects of the Prevent! Prepare! Be Aware! campaign.

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