Burn permits suspended due to high winds

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has suspended its burn permits on the Kenai Peninsula, prohibiting the setting of fires over 3 feet in diameter.

A Saturday press release from DNR states that permits are suspended until further notice due to high winds in the area. Dan Govoni of the Division of Forestry’s Kenai-Kodiak Fire Prevention Office said his agency can’t estimate when the suspension will be lifted.

The suspension doesn’t apply to commercially-made barbecues, camp stoves, meat smokers or other outdoor cooking and warming devices.

Govoni said winds greater than 10 miles per hour had been measured on parts of the Kenai Peninsula

“We have different models we look at in terms of fuel types — dry grass and black spruce,” Govoni said. “The heavy winds tend to drive more moisture out of the fuel types, so with the high winds we’re getting more extensive drying of the fuels, making them more receptive to fire.”

The possible threat of high winds to power lines is another consideration in assessing fire danger, Govoni said.

Govoni said residents should call 260-4269 for more information, including notification of when the suspension is lifted, or visit forestry.alaska.gov/burn for general information on burn permits.

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

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