Facing disaster, community pulls together

  • Thursday, June 18, 2015 3:04pm
  • Opinion

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been impacted by the Card Street fire, from those who have been displaced by evacuations or who have lost their homes to the flames, to the firefighters battling to save as many other structures as possible.

As of Thursday afternoon, the fire had grown in size to 9,000 acres with no containment, and was elevated to the highest priority fire in the nation. Additional personnel continue to be deployed to the Kenai Peninsula to address the Card Street blaze, as well as to attack two wildland fires in the Cooper Landing area near Juneau Lake and Stetson Creek.

With firefighting resources already stretched thin, it is imperative that all of us do what we can to minimize the risk of any additional fires. First and foremost, that means not lighting a fire — for any reason. Every municipality and government agency with the authority to do so has issued a ban on open burning, including campfires. On the Chugach National Forest, even smoking is restricted.

Under the burn ban enacted by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday, only gas grills, backpacking or camp stoves using fuel or compressed canisters which can be regulated and shut off are still permitted for use.

Fireworks, which already are illegal on the Kenai Peninsula, also have been banned.

With continued hot and dry conditions, peninsula residents and visitors should be mindful of other activities that can spark a fire, such as heat or sparks from power tools or motor vehicles.

Please use common sense. Stay out of the way of fire crews responding to the fires. Stay out of the evacuation areas — the fire has been unpredictable, and conditions can change in a matter of minutes. There’s a reason people have been asked to leave those locations.

We’re heartened by the community’s outpouring of support, from donations to designated shelters, offers to take in displaced families as well as pets and livestock, to water and food for the crews out on the fire line. This community is always willing to pull together and help where help is needed, an attitude that will make getting through the current disaster a little more manageable.

More in Opinion

The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, D.C. in this file photo. (File)
Opinion: The Alaskans with the power to defend America’s democracy

It’s well past time to publicly refute Trump’s lie

Opinion: Here’s what I expect of lawmakers in a post-Roe America

I urge lawmakers to codify abortion rights at the state and federal levels.

Opinion: Confusion over ranked choice voting persists

Voter confusion over ballot procedures will continue

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Voices of the Peninsula: A vote for Walker/Drygas is a vote for Alaskans

It’s easy to forget some of the many lost lawsuits, devastating budget cuts and general incompetence that defines Mike Dunleavy’s term as governor

This photo shows a return envelop for 2022 special primary. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Learn how to access your ballot

The recent special primary election was the first time the state conducted an all mail-in ballot election

The Storyknife Writers Retreat in the summer of 2021 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Storyknife: Invest in women writers, read the rewards

Storyknife is committed to providing opportunities to a diversity of writers

Residents line the Sterling Highway in front of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office to oppose Pebble Mine on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: No more delays — finalize protections for Bristol Bay

How many times do we have to say NO to a bad project that would harm Alaskans?

Peter Asmus (Photo provided)
Why Alaska is leading the nation on energy innovation

Alaska is a unique vantage point upon which to review the world’s current energy conundrum

Most Read