Logo bar of the Alaska Public Lands Information Center which are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Tok and Ketchikan
Margaret Lake in the Tongass National Forest
text size
Printer Friendly
Fires in Alaska



US Forest Service Fire Fighter

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.

Shipwreck Cove Fire 2013. Photo by AlaskaNPS. Fire facts Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Fire and Rescue practice in Kodiak. Smokey Bear

A closeup shot of a purple Calypso Orchid. The flower is curled and resembles a snail's shell. Bright green foliage is in the background. Did You Know?
Approximately 1,300 species of vascular plants, mosses, and lichens can be found in Denali National Park & Preserve. However, there are only eight species of trees!