Local News

Burn ban in effect until further notice

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It’s August, the sun’s out, and people are hitting the beaches in bathing suits. That’s a great summer by Southeast standards, but it comes with a downside.

Along with hot and dry weather comes fire danger.

Wildfires threatened Fairbanks.

In Wrangell, smoke from wildfires in Canada made the air hard to breathe and the sunsets an ominous orange.

It’s been hot and dry across the Northwest this season. And now, even the rainforest is at risk of fire.

So, the Wrangell Fire Department has issued a burn ban.

“It is a rainforest, but it has been so dry this year. Yes, if you dug down quite a ways it’s fairly wet. But that’s not the case for a lot of our yards and stuff right now,” says Dorianne Blatchley, administrator at the Fire Department.

She says the Fire Department issued a ban to protect the forest and the town from a potential fire.

The ban means that no outdoor fires are allowed in town until further notice.

“Any burn barrels, any outdoor rubbish waste piles that they’ve got going, if they’ve been clearing their lot. A lot of people are used to being able to burn whenever they wanted to, as long as they had a hose or a backhoe or some way of extinguishing it. Just because it’s been so dry, we’re asking that everybody hold off until we get a good, heavy rain.”

That includes brush piles, paper and cardboard waste, wood, and trash fires among others.

And when she says heavy rain, she’s not referring to the light sprinkles we’ve had this week.

“We really want it to be saturated and that wasn’t what we had in mind. So we’re going to wait for a good, heavy rain and then we’ll go ahead and lift that burn ban.”

In Southeast we enjoy our sun and warm weather while it’s here. But this summer, let’s hope for some rain, too.

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