Burn permits required starting April 1 for open burning and burn barrels
(Fairbanks, AK) – The Alaska Division of Forestry reminds residents that general burn permits for any open debris burning and the use of burn barrels are required from April 1 to August 31.
Human-caused fires as a result of debris burning and the use of burn barrels are the leading cause of wildland fires in Alaska. Experience and statistics have shown that 75 percent or more of burn barrels in Alaska do not meet DOF specifications.
Burn permits must be obtained annually and residents are required to obtain a new permit at the start of each season. Burn permits issued prior to the 2016 season are no longer valid. Burn permits are free and available at local State forestry offices or can be downloaded and printed at www.forestry.alaska.gov/burn on or after April 1.
Residents are required to read the burn permit in its entirety, sign it and call the phone number to the local forestry office provided on the permit each day before burning to ensure that burning is allowed. Burn permits contain instructions for safe and legal burning, as well as common mistakes that lead to violations. Permittees must have the burn permit in his/her possession at all times when burning. Burn permits are not required for camping or warming fires as long as the fires are not over 3 feet in diameter.
Starting this season, the Division of Forestry’s burn permit program now covers all use of burn barrels. A general burn permit will be needed to use any type of burn barrel on state-protected lands in Alaska, in addition to open debris burning. In addition, the use of all burn barrels will now be prohibited during a burn suspension. Previously, the use of burn barrels that met DOF specifications was allowed without a permit and approved burn barrels were allowed during a burn suspension.
Burn barrels and open debris burning are not permitted within some cities and municipalities. Residents should check with local forestry or fire authorities to determine if burn barrels are allowed where they live.
Anyone planning to burn piles larger than 10 feet in diameter and 4 feet high must obtain a Class B commercial burn permit, which requires a site inspection by a State forestry Prevention Officer and a burn plan prior to the permit being issued.
Anyone who fails to obtain or adhere to the conditions of a burn permit can be held criminally liable for damage caused by an escaped fire.
Go to www.forestry.alaska.gov/burn for more information about burning in Alaska.