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TETLIN: Reducing Wildfire Risk and Aiding Energy Efficiency
Alaska Region, September 30, 2008
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Tetlin NWR Forestry Technician, John Grafft; Alaska Division of Forestry Tok Area Forester, Jeff Hermanns; and Tok Area Suppression Foreman, Jim Folan inspect the school project site.  Photo by Peter Butteri, USFWS, 9/23/2008
Tetlin NWR Forestry Technician, John Grafft; Alaska Division of Forestry Tok Area Forester, Jeff Hermanns; and Tok Area Suppression Foreman, Jim Folan inspect the school project site. Photo by Peter Butteri, USFWS, 9/23/2008 - Photo Credit: n/a

 

In September 2008 the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division and Alaska Gateway School District completed a 50 acre fuels reduction around Tok School in compliance with the Tok Community Wildland Fire Protection Plan (CWPP) strategy.  While school is not in session during the Alaska fire season, it remains the site for summertime community activities and is a potential evacuation center.  In 2003, the school was the Incident Command Post for the million acre Taylor wildfires.

September’s project included tree thinning on school grounds and adjacent property to protect buildings from wildfire and secure escape routes.  Once thinned, trees and branches chipped to eventually fuel a the school’s new high efficiency wood-fired boiler system that will replace an oil-fired boiler and dramatically reduce heating costs.   Cooperators hope this project will serve as a model for similar small Alaska communities where vulnerability to wildfires and high fuel costs are commn concerns.  Converting biomass from wildland fuels reduction into carbon-neutral heating fuel reduces  vulnerability to wildfires, reduces heating costs, reduces dependence on petrochemical products, and decreases Alaska’s carbon footprint.


Contact Info: Peter Butteri, 907-456-0361, peter_butteri@fws.gov



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