PALMER— The Mat-Su Valley is currently is the middle of a burn suspension due to persistent hot and dry conditions and lack of rainfall, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry’s Mat-Su Area Office.

“Down there, you guys really haven’t had really any rain recently. Your fuels on top are dry. Your fuels on underneath are dry,” Tim Mowry, public information officer for the Alaska Division of Forestry said.

Suspensions for both small and large-scale burn permits went into effect Aug. 8 and will continue until conditions improve to safe levels. That includes open debris burning and burn barrels.

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Mowry said officials check conditions daily to make their determinations. He said the suspension is likely to stay in place for a while.

“You’re probably gonna need some rain for that thing to go away,” Mowry said.

Cooking and warming fires are still allowed during the burn suspension, granted the responsible party follows safe burning guidelines and fires are less than 3 feet in diameter.

Mowry urged anyone who plans to have a campfire to remember to have plenty of water on hand to control and extinguish the fire. He said that it’s vital to ensure the fire is completely extinguished before departure. He advised to use one’s hands to feel for any residual heat.

“If you can’t touch it, it’s still too hot,” Mowry said.

For additional information and to get updates on local burn permits, call 907-761-6312 for the Alaska Division of Forestry’s Mat-Su Area Office.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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