What's New

State forestry firefighting crews head south to help in Lower 48

With rain dampening wildfire activity in much of the state, the Alaska Division of Forestry has begun sending personnel to the Lower 48 to assist with firefighting efforts in several western states.

Approximately 150 Alaska firefighters from the Division of Forestry have been sent south or will be leaving in the next two days to take assignments on wildfires burning in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. That number includes four 20-person initial attack crews and a 20-person Type 2 training crew. The Division of Forestry also sent one of its two contracted air retardant tankers to British Columbia to aid in fire suppression in that province.

While the Division of Forestry has released several crews and support personnel for fire assignments in the Lower 48, the state is retaining adequate resources to respond to any wildfires that may arise in Alaska.

This year’s fire season in Alaska has been a relatively quiet one. As of Tuesday morning, 290 fires had burned an estimated 339,404 acres this season in Alaska, well below the annual average of approximately 500 fires and 1.2 million acres burned. Most of the fires currently burning in the state are in remote areas in northeast Alaska where conditions remain dry.

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, Public Information Officer, 907-356-5512, tim.mowry@alaska.gov.


Board of Forestry to meet by teleconference August 1

The public is invited to a state Board of Forestry teleconference on Tuesday, August 1st.  There will be teleconference sites in Juneau, Anchorage, Ketchikan, and Fairbanks.  Topics include forestry funding and management, legislation and regulations, wood energy, forest sustainability verification, fish habitat sampling and permitting, and cooperative forestry programs.  The meeting will be from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with public comment at 1:15 p.m.  The draft agenda and public notice are attached below.  For more information, contact Marty Freeman at 907-269-8467 or marty.freeman@alaska.gov.


Community Forest Council offers grants to celebrate Arbor Day

The Alaska Community Forest Council is offering small grants to help celebrate Arbor Day on May 15. Grants will be in the $200-$500 range, and can be used to plant a tree or support other activities that promote Arbor Day in Alaska. 

Grant funds were provided to the Council from: The Society of American Foresters (SAF); Cook Inlet and Yukon River Chapters, The Alaska Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Paul’s Tree Service of Anchorage.

Applications are due by 4:30 PM on Friday, April 21, 2017. Information and an application forms can be found at http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/council.


New burn permits required starting April 1

The Alaska Division of Forestry reminds residents that general burn permits for open debris burning and the use of burn barrels are required starting April 1 in areas under state wildland fire protection.

Burn permits are required annually and residents must obtain a new permit at the start of each season. Burn permits are free and available at State forestry offices, most local fire departments or can be downloaded and printed at www.forestry.alaska.gov/burn. This website is a key resource for learning about safe burning practices in Alaska.

Debris burning and the use of burn barrels are the leading cause of wildland fires in Alaska. Burn permits contain instructions for safe and legal burning.

Residents are required to read and sign the permit before burning. They must also call the forestry office listed on the permit or check online each day before burning to ensure that burning is allowed. Permittees must have the burn permit in his/her possession when burning. Burn permits are NOT required for camping or warming fires under 3 feet in diameter.

Burn barrels and debris burning are not permitted within some municipalities. Residents should check with their local forestry office or fire authorities to determine if burning is allowed in their area.

Burn piles larger than 10 feet in diameter and 4 feet high require a large-scale burn permit, which requires a site inspection by a State Forestry Prevention Officer and a burn plan prior to a permit being issued.

Anyone who fails to obtain or adhere to the conditions of a burn permit can be held criminally liable for damage caused by an escaped fire.

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, Alaska Division of Forestry public information officer, 907-356-5512 or tim.mowry@alaska.gov  


2016 Division of Forestry Program Summaries


State adopts amendments to reforestation regulations

The state has adopted amendments to the Forest Resources and Practices Act reforestation regulations for commercial forestry operations in Southcentral and Interior Alaska.  The new regulations will go into effect on March 9, 2017.


For a summary of the new regulations, see:  Reforestation Regulation Amendments - Intent and Summary (PDF)

For the text of the new regulations, see:  Reforestation Regulation Text (PDF)


For more information, see the Reforestation Standards Review web page at: http://forestry.alaska.gov/forestpractices.htm#reforestation or contact Marty Freeman at marty.freeman@alaska.gov or 907-269-8467.


Forestry Social Media Sites

DOF now has Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube pages:


Individual links to Youtube content: