Warm weather, gusty winds bring high fire danger for Southcentral Alaska over holiday weekend

High temperatures and gusty winds in the forecast are prompting warnings of increased fire danger through the Memorial Day weekend for Anchorage, Mat-Su and parts of the Kenai Peninsula.

The National Weather Service on Thursday issued a “red flag warning” for Friday from noon to 10 p.m. as north winds gusting up to 20 mph are expected to pair with temperatures in the mid-70s and low humidity.

Those conditions combined make it easier for wildland fires in grass, brush or trees to ignite and spread rapidly, forecasters say.

Fire danger will remain high throughout the weekend, said weather service meteorologist Michael Kutz. Relief in the form of cooler air isn’t expected to push into Southcentral Alaska until early next week.

Anchorage implemented a burn ban last week and the Assembly passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday that makes violating the ban a misdemeanor crime. The ban prohibits campfires, burn pits and open fires.

[Woman rescued from burning Anchorage Hillside home before flames ignited wildfire]

Burn permit suspensions are also in effect in the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs. The suspension bans burn barrels, burning of brush or lawns, but small campfires are still allowed.


Statewide, 124 wildfires have burned more than 11,000 acres so far this year, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry. About 80% of this year’s fires have been caused by people.

[Crews respond to 13-acre wildfire near Homer as warm, dry conditions persist]

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