Current Fire News
AICC Current Fires Map of Alaska
How the National Park Service Manages Fires
Managing Fire in Alaska
Wildfires in Alaska burn hundreds of thousands of acres every year. Although aggressive fire suppression is a high priority for all agencies, the management objectives for suppression have been modified to integrate resource-management goals with fire protection by the “Fire Protection Levels.” The primary reasons for this change are:
- At certain periods during a fire season, wildfires can be so widespread, numerous, or burning so hot that they cannot be put out easily.
- Fire is a natural part of Alaska’s ecosystem. Many positive benefits of fire have been recognized.
- Fire-suppression efforts sometimes are more damaging than the wildfire.
For these reasons, Alaska’s state, federal, and private land managers got together in the late 1970s and developed a plan for cooperative fire fighting; The Alaska Interagency Fire Management Council.
The plan recognizes that fire is a part of the natural environmental cycle as well as a potential destroyer of life, property, and resources. The plan divides the state into fire-suppression areas based on natural fire breaks and the objectives of land managers—because fire does not recognize political boundaries.
The plan focuses fire-suppression near communities and valuable natural resources. In remote and unsettled areas, fires will be monitored to assure they do not burn unchecked toward areas where human life or development could be threatened. This cooperative plan is working well and has saved millions of local, state, and federal tax dollars.