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Burning prohibited as wildfire risk heats up

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Dry conditions and hot temperatures have turned up the wildfire risk on the Kenai Peninsula this week. The Alaska Division of Forestry issued a burn suspension, effective today.

Drew Anderson is the lead fire prevention officer at the Kenai-Kodiak area station.

"There's still lots of dead grass," he said. "Things haven’t greened up yet. And I know they’re anticipating some precipitation, maybe starting Friday. But even with that, we have to get quite a bit of precipitation and quite widespread to lift the suspension.”

There are some exceptions, like grills and small campfires. The division defines “small” as less than three feet wide and two feet high.

That means no burn barrels, or burning logs or debris.

"All of our fires this year have been human caused and primarily debris burning has been the cause of those fires," Anderson said. "But nothing too large.”

The Division of Forestry suspended all burn permits last summer, due to limitations on its wildfire force related to COVID-19.

The current suspension goes for the Mat-Su Valley, as well.

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