Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KENAI: Refuge Manages Large Fires for Resource Benefits
Alaska Region, August 5, 2005
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In an unusual weather year, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge continued to experience extreme fire activity throughout the month of July. Twelve lightning caused fires occurred on the Refuge, two of which were managed as wildland fire use fires. These fires involved suppression activities to protect resources at risk, while letting the fires burn naturally in some areas to reap other benefits. The Irish Channel Fire burned over 1,000 acres and the Fox Creek Fire over 25,000 acres, both in remote designated Wilderness portions of the Refuge. Benefits of the fires included removal of dead spruce trees that could carry fires in the future into developed areas, re-generation of the forest to benefit moose and other wildlife, and considerable cost savings over actively suppressing all fronts of the fires. No injuries or loss of private property occurred during these fires. The Fox Creek Fire is one of the largest wildland fire use fires ever managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and is the third largest fire of any kind on the Kenai Peninsula in over a century.

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