Meeting Notes from June 28th Public Meeting

Kenai Lake Fire Information Meeting
Moose Pass, Alaska
Thursday, June 28, 2001

An informal Kenai Lake Fire information meeting sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and the Kenai Peninsula Borough was held at the Moose Pass School. The meeting was attended by 75-80 Moose Pass residents and members of the Chugach National Forest, Incident Overhead Team, Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Preparedness, Law Enforcement and local Volunteer Fire Departments.

Dave Dash, Deputy Incident Commander gave a brief update of the fire situation and plans for fighting the fire over the next several days.

Mike Kania, Seward District Ranger answered numerous questions relating to the prescribed fire and why it was initiated. Deputy Regional Forester Jim Caplan was in attendance and also took several questions from the audience including questions concerning agency responsibility for potential damages.

The Moose Pass residents were generally upset with the Forest Service for starting the prescribed fire during the dry summer. They asked questions about compensation for lost businesses and property, whether or not they could borrow equipment such as pumps and hoses to wet down their homes in case the fire jumped the line, and whether or not the Forest Service would continue to use prescribed fires in the area in light of the wildfire. They were concerned with having a safe place to evacuate to, free from smoke and having adequate supplies available such as oxygen, etc., to help the elderly and infirmed. Concern was also expressed about several large propane tanks and whether there was a risk of explosion should the fire reach them.

Forest Service representatives offered to hold additional meetings to address the prescribed fire issue and other concerns of local residents. Several residents stayed after the meeting to talk further with Forest Service and Borough personnel.

June 29, 2001  0830  Doug Stockdale, Fire Information Officer, 907-288-3178