Fire danger is high in most of Chugach National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which urged people to use extra caution in extinguishing campfires.
“While rain in the forecast can sometimes lower the fire danger, it is fire season and everyone plays a role in preventing human-caused fires,” the Forest Service said in a statement Friday. “Campfires left unattended could potentially result in an unplanned wild fire ignition which threatens public safety and fire fighters.”
Human-caused fires account for 99% of wildland fires in Chugach National Forest, according to the Forest Service.
Campfires in Chugach National Forest should be built within a rock ring or an established fire pit, in a location sheltered from wind and clear of burnable organic material like dry grass, leaves, sticks and overhanging branches, the Forest Service says. Officials urged recreators to follow these guidelines to extinguish campfires:
• Let the fire completely burn to ash.
• Use plenty of water to drown all embers until the fire stops hissing.
• Stir the ash and water together using a shovel, stick or other tool.
• Remove any embers by scraping down leftover logs.
• Make sure all of it is cold to the touch.
• If water isn’t available, mix sand or wet dirt into the fire pit.
• Don’t bury the fire — it will continue to smolder and may ignite roots below the surface.
Call 1-800-237-3633 to report a wildland fire in Alaska.