KENAI: Refuge Helps Fight Early Peninsula Fires
Warm weather from an early spring, along with windy conditions have helped fuel more than 20 wildfires on the Kenai Peninsula in April. A fire near Homer grew from over 300 acres on April 30 to over 4,000 acres on May 2. Early response by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has helped keep the fire controlled, though it still threatens many homes on the hillside areas above Anchor Point and Homer.
Before the fire even started, the refuge staff was asked to help fight another grass fire in the Homer area so our folks were on scene when the large wildland urban interface fire broke out from a downed power line. The refuge crew was instrumental in helping control the fire until additional resources were deployed from around the state. The refuge also provided fuses, drip torches, and fuel to back burn around homes and other buildings. These early efforts likely reduced potential property damage.
The Services uses fire to provide ecological benefits to the landscape, allowing some fires to burn where a Wildland Fire Use plan exists, ensuring that there are no significant risks to local communities.
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