Officials encourage fire safety over holiday weekend
Memorial Day weekend is a time for remembering, reflecting and celebrating, and many people are likely to be outside with campfires, or grilling food.
Officials are reminding people that while fun, fire is dangerous -- especially during the dry weather the interior has been having.
Because of the hot, dry weather, there is a burn permit suspension in place. That means no burn barrels, brush burning, or lawn burning is allowed in Alaska. Small campfires and grilling are allowed. Campfires must be smaller than three feet in diameter and the flames cannot be more than two feet high.
Tim Mowry, public information officer for the fire service, encourages people to stay with their fires, and make sure they are put completely out before leaving them. "Campfires are sort of a right of passage in Alaska and people on Memorial day weekend want to have their grills and want to have their campfires. We just ask people to be extremely careful and follow safe burning practices while they are doing that," he said.
Mowry said that people should have water and tools with the fire and not leave it unattended. When people are done with a fire, he said to pour water on the site, stir it, and then pour more water on it before leaving. He said that the fire should be cold to the touch before you consider it safe to leave.
Mowry also says that hot chain saws or ATV's can cause wild fires, and he encourages people to pay attention to what is under a hot engine. He said anything hot or that makes sparks or flames is a fire hazard.