The Caribou Fire (#135) can be seen burning about 23 miles northeast of Homer and about 2 miles west of Fox River on May 25, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Fenya Basargin)

The Caribou Fire (#135) can be seen burning about 23 miles northeast of Homer and about 2 miles west of Fox River on May 25, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Fenya Basargin)

Officials warn of wildfire danger ahead of Memorial weekend

Firefighters responded to the Caribou Fire 23 miles northeast of Homer this week

Dry conditions and warm weather are eliciting burn bans across Alaska for Memorial Day weekend, according to a press release from the state Division of Forestry and Fire Protection.

“For many Alaskans, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer,” said Alaska Division of Forestry Wildland Fire & Aviation Program Manager Norm McDonald in the release. “We know lots of people are going to be out camping, hiking, boating, barbecuing, and enjoying other forms of recreation over the holiday weekend. We just ask them to be extremely careful when it comes to the potential for starting wildfires.”

According to the Division of Forestry, firefighters responded to the Caribou Fire 23 miles northeast of Homer this week. The division reported containment was up to 20% by a 21-person Pioneer Peak Hotshot wildland crew on Wednesday night.

There is a burn permit suspension in effect for the Kenai Peninsula, as well as the Fairbanks, Delta, Copper River Basin and Matanuska-Susitna regions. This suspension prohibits people from using burn barrels, burning brush piles and burning lawns. In Anchorage, campfires, burn pits and open fires are also prohibited during this time.

Regulations are also in place for campfires for areas with burn permit suspensions. Personal campfires 3 feet or smaller in diameter are allowed, but people are still encouraged to exercise caution.

The lack of precipitation and dry, dead foliage are susceptible to fire, the Division of Forestry said in the release. Other mitigation measures include not leaving fires unattended, securing a burn permit when necessary, clearing campfire areas down to soil, keeping campfires small, having extinguishing tools and water on hand, making sure a fire is fully out before leaving, and disposing of barbecue ashes and coals in a fireproof container.

The Division of Forestry reported that so far this season it has responded to a number of illegal burning activities that have resulted in wildfires.

Since the beginning of wildfire season on April 1, 124 wildfires had burned around 11,371 acres in Alaska as of Wednesday, according to the release.

Almost 80% of those — about 975 acres worth — have been human-caused.

For more information visit https://dnr.alaska.gov/burn.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Copies of the Peninsula Clarion are photographed on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Announcing a new Peninsula Clarion print schedule

Our last Wednesday edition will be delivered June 26.

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, April 18.
Caring for the Kenai winners receive EPA award

Winning team of the 34th annual Caring for the Kenai was selected for the President’s Environmental Youth Award

Norm Blakely speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves resolution guiding efforts to increase voter turnout

The Voter Turnout Working Group was established to explore options and ideas aimed at increasing voter participation

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Update: Bodies of 2 men retrieved from submerged plane in wake of reported Moose Pass crash

A pair of hikers witnessed and reported the crash around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, trooper say

Most Read