Anchorage joins state in suspending burn permits, but small recreational fires are OK

Recreational fires are still allowed within Anchorage but the municipality has stopped issuing burn permits and said this week that burning trash and yard or wood debris is off limits.

Burn permits will be suspended statewide beginning Friday.

Recreational fires, like campfires, must be kept in a pit and cannot be larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet tall, the fire department says. The flames must be 25 feet from any structure, power poles, vehicles, trees, brush and dead grass.

Portable grills and outdoor fireplaces are allowed as long as they comply with burning guidelines, the department said.

Recreational fires are permitted only on certain days, depending upon conditions. Anchorage residents should check the municipality’s website or call the burn hotline at 907-267-5020 before starting a fire. The department takes into account wind conditions, the department’s ability to respond, air quality and danger level for fire ignition when deciding if conditions are appropriate to allow for recreational fires.

Across the state, burn permits will be suspended Friday to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires, which would lessen the workload for first responders and therefore reduce their risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 while on the job, the Division of Forestry said in a statement.

The state ban also does not cover “cooking, warming or signaling fires that are less than three feet in diameter,” such as campfires.

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Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at