Burn ban still in effect for west side of peninsula

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2002

Although the Alaska Division of Forestry had lifted its ban on permitted burning on the Kenai Peninsula for one day this week, the burning permit suspension went back into effect Thursday.

Warm temperatures and strong gusty winds forecast for "the next few days," prompted the suspension of permits, according to forestry officials. The suspension is in effect for the west side of the peninsula from Nikiski to Homer.

Weather conditions also are contributing to continued patrols at Mystery Creek, the site of recent controlled burns by the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

"We're in a monitoring mode right now, and there's almost no more smoke at all out there," said Doug Newbould, fire management officer for the refuge.

He said firefighters are planning to remove their equipment next week. Because of the high temperatures and strong winds being forecast for the end of this week, they are continuing to patrol for any potential fires.

The prescribed burn at Mystery Creek, approximately 10 miles northeast of Sterling, is designed to reduce fuel build-up that could contribute to a wildfire and to improve habitat for moose and other wildlife.

One 585-acre unit and a 450-acre unit already have been burned this summer and plans call for an additional 1,981 acres to be burned.

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