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YUKON FLATS: Rural Alaska Village of EvansvilleBecomes "Firewise" to Reduce Wildfire Risk
Alaska Region, August 8, 2007
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Dense stand of mixed aspen and black spruce before thinning project at Evansville, Alaska.  September 2006. Photo by Wayne Knight.
Dense stand of mixed aspen and black spruce before thinning project at Evansville, Alaska. September 2006. Photo by Wayne Knight. - Photo Credit: n/a
Partially completed thinning near residence at Evansville, Alaska.  September 2006. Photo by Wayne Knight.
Partially completed thinning near residence at Evansville, Alaska. September 2006. Photo by Wayne Knight. - Photo Credit: n/a
Completed thinning near residence at Evansville, Alaska. September 2006.  Photo by Wayne Knight.
Completed thinning near residence at Evansville, Alaska. September 2006. Photo by Wayne Knight. - Photo Credit: n/a

Fire management staff from the Fish and Wildlife Service office in Fairbanks, Alaska, are administering  Firewise/Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) risk reduction projects in local villages this year (2007-2008). The FWS-sponsored project at Bettles/Evansville,  a small community in the foothills of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska, is a continuation of a project initiated in 2006.  Bettles/Evansville is located just north of Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge.  The Kanuti Refuge maintains a field station at Bettles.  The goal of the local project is to reduce the risk of wildfire spreading from adjacent Federal lands by thinning highly flammable black spruce stands in and around the community.  The work is being conducted by a local crew hired by the Evansville Tribal Council and assisted by the Bettles Volunteer Fire Department.  The thinning project will continue until July 2008. The project will eventually result in hazardous fuels reduction (thinning) on 57 forested acres near residences and public areas within the small community. Two successful slash pile burns, supervised by FWS, have been held to date to dispose of the accumulated slash. The prescribed fires near Evansville were held on an open gravel bar of the nearby Koyukuk River.  The project resembles a previous successful project conducted at Allakaket in 2003-2004 where FWS fire management staff worked in cooperation with the local community in a another extensive thinning project around the community. Allakaket is located just to the west of Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge. The Bettles/Evansville wildfire risk reduction project has achieved all interim goals and is on time and within budget.

 

 


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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