Between September 1st through March 31st burn permits are not required, although safe burning practices still apply and local laws and regulations.
If your burn is making a lot of smoke, please give a courtesy call to State Forestry and your local Fire Department.
Burn permits are now good for one year and free of charge. Fire departments (excluding University Fire) and State Forestry issue burn permits or go online at: forestry.alaska.gov/burn/.
The mission of Fairbanks Area Forestry Fire Operations is to protect lives and property, prevent man caused fires, and conserve, enhance, and facilitate the care of Alaska's forested lands.
Fairbanks Area Forestry is responsible for wildland fire protection of approximately nine million acres between the Chatanika River drainage in the north and Cantwell to the south; and from Nenana in the west to the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve in the east. The Fairbanks area is a combination of rolling hills, low mountains, and tundra flats. The flats dominate the south and west parts. Hills and low mountains are in the north and east.
On an average, large project fires exceeding 1,000 acres occur every other year. Expenditures for these fires can exceed millions of dollars in suppression expenditures. Through cooperative agreements with local fire departments and the Alaska Fire Service, 95% of fire starts are kept below 10 acres in size.
Historically, 78% of the areas' fires occur between April 30 and August 1. High temperatures, with little or no precipitation, characterize typical Interior Alaska weather during this time. During these periods, temperatures in the 70's to 80's, humidities can reach a low of 14%, with average rainfall of 3.78 inches. During these conditions fires may show a high resistance to control. There is an average of twenty days per month, during May, June and, July with winds exceeding 10 mph. Windy conditions can lead to a rapid rate-of-spread. Red flag warnings are not uncommon during these periods.
Extensive black spruce is the main hazard fuel. Stands of mature white spruce, hardwoods, and mixed conifer forests can also make suppression efforts difficult. Tundra vegetation can be a main fire carrier, with peat fires sometimes requiring several burning periods to extinguish. Light fuels can get extremely dry after the snow melts away, and can remain so, even after the leaves are out on trees.
Fairbanks Area Forestry maintains an aggressive wildfire prevention program designed to reduce the average number of human caused fires on all forested land within the Fairbanks Area.
The Prevention Program provides the community with a variety of educational programs and materials. Prevention Technicians visit schools, maintain a booth at the local fair each year, and visit homeowners.
The FAF Prevention Technicians issue burn permits, violation warnings, and violation citations. In addition to being responsible for enforcement, they are part of our initial attack force.
Alaska Statutes (AS 41.15) - Protection of Forested Lands
Another term used is Wind Advisory. This is a notification that weather conditions may change, resulting in an increase of wind speeds and drying of fuels and vegetation which would make open burning hazardous. Windy conditions exist and greater caution should be exercised when burning.
The area burn permit program is a free service that benefits landowners and forestry by reducing false alarm call-outs and hazardous burning procedures. Approximately 82% of the area's fires are caused by humans, mostly as a result of land clearing, which demonstrates a continuing need to educate the public. The remaining 18% are lightning-caused fires, occurring mostly in the hills around Fairbanks.
Burn Permits can be obtained on-line, from our office, and specific fire departments.
There is no charge for Burn Permits.
IMPORTANT: After you obtain a burn permit, you must call Forestry to activate the permit (see regulations).
The basic equipment you need to have on hand before you start burning are:
For an under 1 acre of lawn burn, you must have a 8 foot wide area cleared down to
mineral soil or rake off dead grass and wet down outer 8 feet of perimeter near woods, structures
and other property.
For a 4 foot high, 10 x 10 foot burn pile, you must
have a 15 foot wide area cleared down to mineral soil.
You must call your Division of Forestry Office
each day you
plan to burn.
Burning is not allowed during windy conditions. Remember that you must evaluate the
conditions at your specific location. If windy conditions exist in
your specific area, do not burn. You will be held responsible if you
burn and the fire escapes your burn area.
Be familiar with the Beaufort Wind Scale to help judge the wind
speed in your area.
You must be on site while the fire is burning.
The fire must be completely out before you leave the site.
Remember that you are responsible for any fire that you start until
it is COMPLETELY out.
If you have any questions on the information presented on this page,
please call the nearest Division of Forestry Office.