Southcentral campfire ban lifted for some areas

Applies to campfires on state, private and municipal lands; ban remains on federal lands

The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from the East Fork Moose River bridge on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy Robert Kuiper)

The Swan Lake Fire can be seen from the East Fork Moose River bridge on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy Robert Kuiper)

Alaska Division of Forestry has lifted ban on campfires on state, private and municipal lands in Southcentral Alaska.

Restrictions on federal lands, including the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, remain in effect.

Cooler, moister weather along with decreased fire activity prompted officials to lift the ban Thursday morning, according to a release from the Department of Natural Resources.

Campfires under 3 feet in diameter are now allowed in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Copper River Basin and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. A similar ban was lifted for the northern half of Alaska on Sunday.

The lifting of the state campfire closure does not affect burn suspensions issued by local state forestry offices, and people must check with their local office daily to determine if there is a burn suspension in effect in their area.

Campfires under 3 feet in diameter are allowed during a burn suspension, but open-debris burning and the use of burn barrels are prohibited. As of Wednesday, burn suspensions remained in effect for the Copper River, Fairbanks, Kenai and Mat-Su areas.

There were 205 active wildfires burning in Alaska with more than 2,100 firefighting personnel working to contain them as of Wednesday. On the peninsula, 430 personnel are managing the Swan Lake Fire east of Sterling, which covered 101,016 acres as of Thursday, according to the latest update from the Eastern Area Incident Management Team.

For the latest on the Swan Lake Fire and on burn suspensions in the area, visit kpboem.com.

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