The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hazardous Fuels Reduction Program is a collaborative effort to reduce the threat of wildfire to communities within and adjacent to our national wildlife refuges.
In fire management, a hazardous fuel is vegetation that ignites easily and burns rapidly, enabling a fire to grow quickly. Hazardous fuels reduction projects modify or break up vegetation to lessen the threat of catastrophic fire to the public and firefighters and damage to property. These projects range from the thinning of trees around structures to the construction of strategic fuel breaks around entire communities. Fuel breaks also provide an area from which to more easily suppress a fire, should one occur.
Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has assisted 15 rural Alaska communities implement Community Wildlifre Protection Plans and achieve their goals of reducing hazardous fuels on more than 3,500 acres.
Fish and Wildlife Service funding for hazardous fuels reduction is limited and is offered through a competitive process at http://www.grants.gov. For more information contact the Regional Fire Management Coordinator at (907) 786-3497.
On May 19th 2014 the Funny River fire started on the western side of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Over the next five days the fire grew to nearly 200,000 acres, burning four structures and two outbuildings.