Prescribed burning planned in the McCloud Subdivision to remove vegetation cleared to strengthen fuel breaks
Fairbanks, Alaska – Starting this week and continuing throughout November, firefighters from Fairbanks Area Forestry will take advantage of weather conditions to burn debris piles located in the McCloud Subdivision on Old Murphy Dome. The piles are left over from work that was done to strengthen fuel breaks during the 2011 Hastings Fire.
Prescribed burning is weather dependent and will take place throughout November as conditions allow. Smoke may be visible locally; however, weather forecasts are monitored so that burning occurs at times when smoke dispersal is directed away from populated areas. Burning will not occur when there is the potential for an inversion.
The hazard fuel reduction units were created as part of a multi-year, cooperative Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Summer wildfire activity and the proximity of the Hastings Fire to the community lead to the removal of additional trees to strengthen the existing fuel break. Spruce was removed by hand cutting and with a feller buncher (a type of timber harvester). The vegetation was stacked to best suit the pile burning operations.
The 2011 Moose Mountain and Hastings fires serve as a reminder of the danger that wildfire may pose when in close proximity to a community. In Alaska, individual home and property owners and communities as a whole are encouraged to reduce risk prior to emergency situations. The CWPP is a collaborative effort between the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) and Forestry that identifies populated areas within the FNSB that are at highest risk for wildfire. The treatments have lead to the removal of continuous stringers of flammable black spruce in ways that promotes regeneration of species of trees and shrubs that are less prone to fire spread. Fuel breaks also serve as points from which firefighters can launch suppression efforts in response to wildland fires.
For additional information, please contact Fairbanks Area Forestry at 451-2601.