Update: Fire warning widened to all of Southeast

Warm, dry, windy weather is putting parts of northern Southeast at risk of fire.

Warm, dry, windy weather is putting Southeast fields and forests at risk of fire. (Map courtesy PBS.org)

A fire warning issued last week for parts of northern Southeast Alaska has been expanded to the whole region.

Tongass National Forest Fire Management Officer Seth Ross says continued warm, dry weather is affecting more areas. 

He’s not predicting large blazes. But he says hunters, hikers, boaters and campers should be extra careful.

“We just wanted to talk to folks who are coming back into the woods and just make a gentle reminder to be careful. The conditions certainly are right for some fire activity,” he says.

He says fires should be attended at all times and thoroughly extinguished when no longer needed.

Forest fires are uncommon in Southeast’s Tongass rainforest.

But Ross says an average of 17 happen each year and some years there are as many as 40.

“They’re not big. They don’t spread out very far. They do go deep in the right conditions. We do have fires that burn down a few layers in, underground. But nothing gets too, too big,” he says.

Ross’s warning continues until the weather changes. Juneau’s warning goes until 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, but could be extended.

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