Weather permitting, burn ban lifted; caution urged

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Cloudy skies hovered and a slight drizzle fell from the sky Sunday evening and Monday. The change in weather brought some relief for those interested in burning on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Alaska State Forestry has lifted the burning permit suspension for the Kenai and Kodiak areas, as long as the weather cooperates, said Sharon Roesch, fire prevention officer for Alaska State Forestry.

During the four-day permit suspension, which began Wednesday, fire service agencies responded to 25 reports of burning.

Of the 25 reports, six individuals were issued a notice of violation of the Alaska open burning statutes in Homer, Anchor Point and Nikiski. The state of Alaska will seek recovery of approximately $1,450 in fire suppression costs from those reports.

Recent precipitation has not penetrated to the protected areas beneath trees, Roesch said, but it has lowered the fire ignition factor.

Intensity of escape fires will lower as the relative humidity reaches the more than 40 percent mark.

Burn permits are required from May 1 to Sept. 30.

Before burning, Roesch said, residents must notify the overseeing fire agency.

The calls also assist fire service agencies in having up-to-date information on burns.

Residents need to call the following numbers for to report they are burning or for information about the free permits:

Division of Forestry: 262-4124;

Central Emergency Services: 262-4792;

City of Soldotna: 262-4792;

City of Kenai: 283-7666;

Nikiski or North Kenai: 283-4388;

City of Homer: (907) 235-3155;

Outside of city limits: 260-4269.

Though the suspension has been lifted, burn permits are not valid during windy conditions, which some peninsula areas have experienced.

Roesch said caution is advised, though the burning suspension has been lifted.

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