Anchorage municipal officials banned open fires throughout the city Thursday as forecasters called for a period of hot, dry conditions that are increasing burn danger throughout Southcentral Alaska.
The Anchorage ban allows barbecue grills and enclosed pellet grills, but campfires, burn pits, portable outdoor fire pits and open fires on the ground are not allowed, according to a municipal wildfire mitigation website.
In the Mat-Su, burn permits were suspended Thursday until June 29. The suspension bars the burning of burn barrels, debris piles or lawns. Campfires smaller than 3 feet are still allowed.
Hot, dry conditions have heightened concerns about wildfires in Southcentral this year. Temperatures in Anchorage and the Mat-Su could climb as high as the lower 80s, according to the National Weather Service.
[With conditions primed, Anchorage’s Hillside stares down a long-running wildfire threat]
Statewide, Alaska has seen 325 fires burn more than 1.1 million acres so far this year. At least half of the fires were caused by people rather than naturally caused by lightning.