Prescribed burns in the Fairbanks Area are in support of the Community Wildfire Protection Planning effort
Fairbanks, Alaska – Firefighters from Fairbanks Area Forestry are taking advantage of weather conditions to burn debris piles in the Salcha/Harding Lake area through October 31. This is a continuation of a multi-year, cooperative Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). Additional projects, such as hand-thinning of trees, may continue into November and December.
The hazard fuel reduction units to be burned this fall are located behind Harding Lake, to the northeast. The fuel break is comprised of 4 units, totaling 694 acres. Black spruce has been removed in all units by a dozer with a shear blade or by hand cutting and is piled in windrow formations to best suit the burn operations.
Prescribed burning is weather dependent and will take place this month as conditions allow. Weather forecasts are monitored so that burning occurs under weather conditions that direct smoke away from populated areas. No burning will happen when there is potential for fog or an inversion.
In Alaska, individual home and property owners and communities as a whole are encouraged to reduce risk prior to emergency situations. 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. 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 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.