High Fire Danger on Chugach National Forest - Use Caution this Holiday Weekend

 The Chugach National Forest has the right conditions for a busy wildfire season. With low snowpack in southern Alaska, warm dry weather will continue to be the dominating theme. While lightning is often a consideration for fire risk, unwanted human caused fires pose the most direct, but preventable, risk to forest fires and public safety. More than 90 percent of all fires on the forest are human caused and 50 percent of those are started by campfires. 

The holiday weekend traditionally leads to a number of accidental or negligent wildfire starts from escaped campfires, all-terrain/off-road vehicle usage, debris burning, fireworks, target shooting, and other recreational activities. Forest Fire Management Officer, Tom Hudson, is asking citizens to be responsible. “It only takes a spark to start a fire! Always use caution and follow suggested guidelines for safely putting out any fire you have started.” says Hudson. 

Follow these guidelines to keep fire from going wild: 

  • Extinguish fires completely 
  • Allow the wood to burn completely to ash is possible 
  • Pour lots of water on the fire, drown all embers 
  • Pour till hissing sound stops 
  • Stir the ashes and embers with a shovel 
  • Scrape any remaining logs to remove embers 
  • Make sure everything is cold to the touch 
  • If no water is available, use dirt or sand by mixing in with embers

If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave - Do not bury the fire as it will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire eventually getting to the surface to start a wildfire. 

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center provides current fire information, and maps: 

To report a wildland fire in Alaska call 1-800-237-3633