BLM to Burn Woody Debris Piles Near Tanacross to Reduce Wildfire Danger
FAIRBANKS – The Bureau of Land Management personnel will burn woody debris piles on land it manages near Tanacross Oct. 26-31 to reduce the risk of wildfire, protect private property and community members, and provide a safe space for firefighters to suppress fires in the future.
Burning will occur east of Tanacross, along the east side of the Old Tanacross Road, and west of the airfield. Additional burning will occur just south of the Alaska Highway east of milepost 1325. Signs will be posted along the Alaska Highway during periods of active burning.
Smoke may be visible to motorists in the area, as well as from the communities of Tanacross and Tok. In accordance with smoke permit issued by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), the piles will be ignited when weather conditions will minimize the impact of smoke on populated areas.
The BLM previously identified the area for a forest health project to reduce beetle kill infestations after high winds in 2012 downed trees for nearly 66 miles between Dry Creek and Tok. Local firewood and biomass heating fuel was harvested from the affected area on BLM-managed lands earlier, and the remaining 300-plus woody debris piles are mostly unsalvageable black spruce trees.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.