Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KANUTI:Village Completes Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project
Alaska Region, July 1, 2008
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The village of Evansville in the foothills of the Brooks Range within Kanuti Refuge successfully completed a two-year hazardous fuels reduction project in June 2008, with help from Refuge fire management staff.  The Fish and Wildlife Service-funded project consisted of thinning hazardous black spruce stands around the community by a local fire crew. Three consecutive successful pile burns were conducted with the local volunteer fire department to dispose of slash accumulated during the two year project.  Burns were supervised by FWS fire management staff on the open gravel bars of the Koyukuk River following an approved burn plan. 

Nearly all structures in the village received “Firewise” thinning treatment, including residences, the clinic, tribal office, and volunteer fire department.  A large fuels break was also created at the north end of the village where black spruce stands once led directly onto the Kanuti Refuge.  Most spruce were removed from this treatment leaving fire-resistant, healthy birch trees. An ancient overgrown fire lane was re-treated, expanded, and cleaned out to 75 ft., providing additional wildfire risk reduction. Target acreage for the project was 57 acres with actual treatment reaching 58.2 acres.  This project opened a cooperative dialog between the village and the Refuge fire management staff into related topics including wildfire risk reduction priorities, fire management objectives, and fire education for the Evansville thinning crew, Bettles volunteer fire department, and the entire Bettles/Evansville community.

Contact Info: Sam Patten, 907-456-0467, Sam_Patten@fws.gov
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