Wildfire Mitigation




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Open Fires are ALLOWED Today Due to LOW-MODERATE Fire Danger​

 Outside recreational fires are authorized today with the following limitations; fires may not be more than 3 feet in diameter and no more than 2 feet high; fires must be located at least 25 feet from structures, decks, trees, brush and dry grass; clear an area on the ground of at least 6 feet in diameter and remove and dispose of all combustible surface materials; you must be in attendance of outside recreational fires at all times; you are required to have a charged water hose within reach of the fire and a tool such as a shovel to extinguish the fire when you are done; you must extinguish your fire immediately if the wind speed increases to 10 mph or greater; only cured (dry) firewood is allowed and not green or wet wood that produces offensive smoke; outside fires must be extinguished DEAD OUT after use; use water and a tool to mix and stir the coals until there is no heat remaining; test with the back of your hand several inches above the extinguished coals are out and recheck in an hour.

 

Barbecue grills (electric, gas & charcoal) are allowed today. Enclosed pellet grills (Traeger, etc.) are also allowed. Portable outdoor fireplaces may be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions within 15 feet of combustible surfaces, providing that it is elevated 12 inches off of the ground and it has a spark arrestor, chimney stack, or screen over the top.

 

Burn permits are no longer available for burning spruce bark beetle slash. Yard debris including leaves, grass and tree limbs cannot be burned and must be disposed of through curbside trash removal or the Solid Waste Service's transfer site or the landfill. Please use the wood lots, when available, for disposing of woody debris. Contact AFD's Forester if you have questions at 267-4902.

Recreational and Cooking Fires

When burning a recreational fire, be a good neighbor and consider how your fire affects your neighbors. Recreational burning that will be offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions is prohibited by Fire Code.  Burning trash, yard debris, leaves, construction material, woody debris including Spruce Bark Beetle wood, is prohibited in the Municipality of Anchorage.

A recreational fire is allowed if it is contained within an area or pit less than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. These fires must be located in a cleared area at least 25 feet from any structure, power poles, vehicles, trees, brush and dead grass. This includes barbecue pits. These fires must comply with the approved recreational burning notice recorded at 267-5020 or on the website.

A proposed recreational or ceremonial fire that exceeds 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height and is smaller than 6 feet in diameter may be eligible for a residential burn permit if it follows all of the safe burning standards.  Residential burn permits require an inspection.  You must schedule at least two weeks prior to the event, permit and inspection fees apply.  Please call Fire Prevention at 267-4900 to schedule or for more information.

Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

Recreational fires contained within an approved outdoor fireplace or barbecue grill do not require a permit if:

  • the total area is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height

  • it is situated 15 feet or more from a structure

  • it has a spark arrestor, chimney stack or screen over the top

  • the unit is elevated off the ground at least 12 inches

Barbecue grills

Barbecue grills are allowed for use and storage on the deck of one and two family homes.

For triplexes and above:

  • the grill itself can be stored on the deck, but the propane cannot

  • the grill cannot be used on the deck unless the building and the deck are sprinklered

  • if not sprinklered, grill use must be on a non-combustible surface and 10 feet away from any combustible building

  • the use of contained barbecue grills is not dependent upon burn day approval

 

 How are daily burn approvals determined?

Daily burn approval is posted on the AFD Burn Hotline at 267-5020. Daily burn approval is contingent upon the Air Quality Index, Wind, Fire Weather Indices and availability of Suppression Response Apparatus. These variables are assessed by Wildfire Mitigation staff each morning before posting the burn approval on the hotline.  

1.     The Air Quality Index is a measure of particulate matter in the atmosphere. It is relevant to the health of residents and is also frequently affected by the thermal inversions local to the Anchorage Bowl.

2.     When wind speed exceeds or is forecasted to exceed 10 mph, burning is not allowed. AFD is working to utilize all available wind speed indicators to localize this variable.

3.     The Fire Weather Index indicates the relative danger level for fire ignition and spread. It measures the moisture content of three classes of surface forest fuels. It then adds the effect of wind to report relative fire behavior.  This system tracks the effects of weather on forest fuels on both a daily and seasonal basis. It is measured at specific weather stations positioned in areas of high fire hazard.

4.     Finally, AFD also evaluates the apparatus available to respond to a brush fire. While AFD is the primary responder to fires.

5.     The Division of Forestry (DOF) is the primary mutual aid responder to the Municipality in the event of a wildfire, if needed. AFD staffs additional brush rigs during the summer months. DOF apparatus in Palmer supports the Mat-Su Borough and the Municipality of Anchorage with helicopters, air tankers and engine crews. Fires burning in other parts of the state may require assistance from DOF Palmer, as well.  

Firewise information is available at www.muni.org/fire and http://www.afdfireinfo.com/ and on Municipal Cable Channel 10. Prepare your home now, wildfire season has already begun!

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