Mat-Su Area Permits

 Special Notice 

*ATTENTION* 

THE MAT-SU VALLEY IS UNDER VERY DRY CONDITIONS DUE TO A LACK OF SEASONAL SNOW. THIS HAS CAUSED VERY UN-SAFE CONDITIONS FOR OPEN BURNING.

BURN PERMITS ARE NOT REQUIRED AFTER AUGUST 31st. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE AND HELP PREVENT ESCAPED FIRES. PLEASE WAIT FOR A GOOD COVERING OF SNOW BEFORE OPEN BURNING.

THANK YOU!

YOU CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ESCAPED FIRES.

 

 

 

 


What are Suspensions and Closures?

 Local Area Information 

The Mat-Su Area State Forestry Office area of jurisdiction lies within the boundaries of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and south to Girdwood. The Area Office is based in Palmer and is home to fire suppression resources and Timber Management Staff. Burn permits are issued by Division personnel from this Office, and may require an appointment for an inspection depending on the type and size of burn project you have (check this web page for specifications/requirements).

Local emergency cooperating agencies include Municipality of Anchorage and its cooperators, Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services, City of Palmer, and City of Houston.

Fire Season is declared from April 1st through August 31st of each season, and permits for open burning are required during this period. Any persons burning outside these months are still required to burn safely and responsibly, and can be held liable for negligent burning and/or fire escapement. The Mat-Su Area Office has set a high standard for fire prevention through education, and has taken an aggressive role in enforcement of State Statutes for the protection of all Forested lands within its jurisdictional boundaries.

Alaska Statutes (AS 41.15) - Protection of Forested Lands


 Burn Permits 

General: A general permit can be used for one pile of debris 4 feet high by 10 feet in diameter, and/or less than 1 acre of mowed lawn or field grasses no longer than 4 inches tall. You must read, understand and follow the Mat-Su General Burn Permit. Permit duration is three seasons.

Class B: Requires an on site inspection, and allows piles larger in any dimension than a general permit and under 6 feet high and 20 feet in diameter, and/or less than 2.5 acres of lawn/field with grasses 10 inches in length or less. Multiple general permit piles would also constitute a class B or C burn. Permit duration is established by State Forestry personnel at time of issuance.

Contractors are recommended to attend a class for issuance of an annual "C" permit. This permit will allow contractors to possess a permit that will be good for one season, and will not require site inspections for approval. Contact the Mat-Su Area Fire Prevention Office at 761-6305 for more information.

All size permits require you to call the Burn Permit Recording (761-6312) prior to each time you burn for recorded information on closures, fire weather conditions and cautions.

Call your local Division of Forestry office or your local fire department for additional information and assistance.

Important: In addition to following Safe Burning Guidelines, you must have a current permit for your Burn Class (General, B or C) in your possession at all times when burning.


 Burn Barrels 

Each year in the Mat-Su Valley, un-attended use or use of un-approved burn barrels leads to high dollar loss including burned homes, automobiles, recreation vehicles, greenhouses and other outbuildings and creates a high threat to life. The Mat-Su Area Office of State Forestry is aggressively patrolling to identify the use of such unsafe devices and or unattended use.

Persons using such devices can receive Citations including State restitution of dollars spent on fire suppression of wild land fire caused by escaped fire from such devices, and face possible criminal charges.

Check with your local City Fire Officials for information on restrictions and/or regulations pertaining to the use of Burn Barrels. City restrictions supersede State Regulations and/or use allowance.


 Burn Permit Options 
View/Print
Safe Burning Guidelines
Review Burn Barrel
Specifications
Review Safe Practices
and Print Permit

 Office Information  Mat-Su/Southwest Area Office
101 Airport Road
Palmer, AK 99645
Office Phone: 907-761-6305
Burn Permit Phone: 907-761-6312

The State Forestry Fire Prevention Office is located near the North end of the Palmer Airport and the Old Glenn Highway at 101 Airport Road.

Fire Prevention Office: 761-6305 - Fire Prevention education, Firewise program, Enforcement issues, Burn Permit information, Questions/Concerns.

Burn permit recording (MUST CALL BEFORE BURNING): 761-6312

Office hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Office is Staffed Monday through Friday with weekend staffing during periods of increased fire danger.


Safe Burning Page

Click here to Print

Before a permit can be issued you must know the basic information on this page.

Tools

The basic equipment you need to have on hand before you start burning are:

For burns of Less than 1 acre of mowed grass (lawn)
  • Mown lawn, blades less than 4 inches in length
  • Garden hose capable of reaching entire perimeter
  • Burlap bags to wet and control fire
  • A minimum of 3 adult persons to monitor fire until it is completely out
For a 10 x 10 burn pile
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose or sufficient water to extinguish the pile
  • A minimum of 1 adult person to monitor fire until it is completely out



Fuel Breaks

For burns of Less than 1 acre of mowed grass (lawn)

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 10 x 10 burn pile

For a 4 foot high, 10 x 10 foot burn pile, you must have a 15 foot wide area cleared down to mineral soil.



Check In

You must call your Division of Forestry Office each day you plan to burn.



Wind

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.



Monitor the Fire

You must be on site while the fire is burning.


Completely Extinguish the Fire

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.


Tips for a Successful Burn

  • Keep pile free of dirt for a complete burn
  • Start fire small and feed it as it burns down
  • Be aware of how topography (slope) will affect fire's behavior
  • Check weather forecast before burning

If you have any questions on the information presented on this page, please call the nearest Division of Forestry Office.