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Division of Forestry explains burn suspensions as fire season starts in Interior Alaska

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 6:12 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Fire Service issued a burn suspension in Delta Junction Tuesday after high winds prompted a red flag warning. Tim Mowry with the Alaska Division of Forestry says that burn suspensions like the one in Delta are used to reduce the chance of a human caused wild fire.

He said that when there are hot, dry or windy conditions fires can spread quickly especially during breakup when there is lots of dry, dead grass.

Mowry said that anyone who is burning with a permit is required to check before they burn if their is a burn suspension in place. He said fire offices check every day to determine if a burn suspension is needed.

“On days when it looks like there is potential for ignitions or potential spread of fires if they did start, rapid spread, we try to prevent that. So that is where those burn suspensions come in.”

Mowry says a burn suspension is different than a burn closure. Burn suspensions only ban fires that would require a permit, while closures ban all fires, including campfires.

Mowry said that they have already responded to one fire in the Fairbanks area when a tree fell on a powerline off of the Parks Highway. Crews put the fire out but Mowry said that even though there is snow on the ground, fires can still spread.

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