WASILLA — The Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office recently released the 2019 Fire in Alaska report, illustrating data from departments across the state. One of the prevailing highlights from this date indicated that warmer than usual temperatures resulted in an overall increase in wildfires and subsequent property loss.
According to a recent press release Department of Public Safety, this data directly supports a statewide Community Risk Reduction model that identifies problems and attempts to allocate resources with more efficiencies in each community.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office is looking forward to working with the Alaska Fire Service in a coordinated effort utilizing the Community Risk Reduction model to lower the impacts of fire to the citizens of Alaska,” State Fire Marshal Richard Boothby stated in the press release.
There were a total of 72,506 fire and life safety responses reported in the Alaska National Fire Incident Reporting System reported by 170 Alaskan departments, according to the release. Out of those responses, 67,478 were non-fire incident responses, 3,713 were fires, and 1,315 were categorized as mutual aid given incidents.
There were a total of 18 statewide deaths caused by fire in 2019. 11 of these deaths were residential occupancies, two were in marine vessels, two occurred in motorhomes, two happened in a detention center, and one was in a multifamily dwelling unit.
Additional 2019 NFIRS statistics include:
Fires attended by Alaska Fire Departments increased by 21% to 3713 with fires in and/or on structures increased by 91% to 1354.
Grass/Brush/Wildland fires increased by 41% to 694.
Residential properties accounted for 66%, or 893, of all structure fires.
Property loss by fire increased by 31% to $79,229,088 with structure fires causing 88% of all reported property damage, totaling $69,822,246.
72% of all structural property loss was from residential property loss, which totaled $50,411,728.
For more information, visit dps.alaska.gov/Fire/AlaskaFireStatistics.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org