Fireworks prohibited, burn ban in place for Fairbanks and much of Interior Alaska

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 4:51 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The 4th of July holiday weekend has begun and here in Fairbanks there are several restrictions and regulations surrounding fireworks and burning, due to a very dangerous dry spell.

Beth Ipsen, Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service Spokesperson, says that every year during fire season, fireworks are prohibited in most places through-out Alaska.

“Alaska state statute does specify that during the fire season which runs from April 1st to the end of August, fireworks are prohibited on private and public lands, forested lands... that means basically any lands that have vegetation whether it’s trees, shrubs, or grass. Fireworks are prohibited on federal public lands throughout the year.”

In addition, as of Friday July 2nd in North Pole, the use and sale of fireworks within the city has been prohibited by order of Fire Chief Heineken. People who have purchased fireworks prior to this closure are encouraged to safely store them until weather conditions change.

“We’re right in the middle of summer, we have constant daylight, so why risk having fireworks when you can save those for New Year’s and for the winter when it’s a lot more visible, and they’re a lot safer to use?” Ipsen said.

A burn suspension is also currently in place in the Fairbanks area, which means brush or debris burning, or the use of burn barrels is prohibited. The City of Fairbanks has also prohibited use of Fireworks within city limits.

Tim Mowry, Public Information Officer with the Alaska Division of Forestry Wildland Fire and Aviation Program described an additional warning currently in place. “There is a Red Flag warning for the eastern interior today - so Delta, Tok, that area it’s been very hot and dry this week as the dramatic increase in behavior in the Munson Creek fire out south of Chena Hot Springs has demonstrated. Things have dried out, and things are ready to burn out... people just need to be really careful not just with fireworks but with anything they’re doing.”

Officials say 4th of July activities can be enjoyed while avoiding the use of open flame. They hope everyone can take a moment to assure that any campfires or barbeque flames involved in weekend celebrations are entirely drowned and extinguished before being left unattended to ensure the safety of our communities and environment.

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