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YUKON FLATS: Refuge Reduces Fire Threats to Village
Alaska Region, August 8, 2007
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Interagency fire crews conduct prescribed fires to reduce fire risk on dried lakebeds near Beaver, Alaska, May 2006. Photo by Sam Patten
Interagency fire crews conduct prescribed fires to reduce fire risk on dried lakebeds near Beaver, Alaska, May 2006. Photo by Sam Patten - Photo Credit: n/a

As part of a continuing effort to protect villages within Alaskan refuges from wildland fires, Yukon Flats Refuge recently initiated mechanical treatment to reduce the risk of Refuge wildfires spreading to the Native village of Beaver (pop. 80). The deciduous forest around Beaver is overgrown by a dense understory of highly flammable spruce.  Warmer summers have dried lakes around the village and lakebeds are now covered by dense stands of highly flammable tall grass which will carry any wildland fire to the village.  Three dry, grassy lakebeds near the village covering 145 acres were burned in prescribed fires in May, 2006, by the Alaska Fire Service, Yukon Flats Refuge and emergency firefighters from Beaver. During 2007 - 2008, fire staff will connect the three previous burned areas with open fire lanes through the intervening forest to provide a semicircle of protection north of the village. The woody vegetation removed will be piled and burned along the Yukon River during other prescribed fires supervised by Yukon Flats Refuge staff.  


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



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