The snow pack around the Fort Greely and Delta Junction area is quickly disappearing. With the early breakup areas exposed to sun are drying out quickly leaving dry grass that is susceptible to fire. Until we start receiving some rain, these areas of exposed grass will remain in a High Fire Danger level. It does not take much for a small breeze driven grass fire to spread and turn into something much larger. Here are some tips to help prevent a grass fire this spring.
– Obviously, don’t throw cigarette or cigar butts on the ground or out of a vehicle.
– Do not burn trash, leaves, or brush outdoors without proper supervision.
– Employ the 30-foot “safety zone” surrounding the home. Clear away loose grass, leaves, etc. away from the home, especially those living in a woodland area (see attached graphic).
– If not using a storage shed to store your firewood, make sure you stack it at least 20-feet away from your house.
– Rake leaves, cut off dead limbs, and cut grass regularly. Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
– Avoid parking cars, trucks or recreational vehicles on dry grass or brush. Exhaust systems on vehicles can reach a temperature of more than 1,000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to ignite a brush fire in the summer.
– Maintain a 10-foot area that is free of brush and shrubbery around BBQ grills and propane tanks. Do not leave a grill unattended, and when finished, place ashes in a bucket and soak in water until completely cooled. Keep a shovel, bucket of water, fire extinguisher, or other fire suppression tools on hand in case of emergency.
– Stress to children the importance of not playing with fire – especially in grassy areas, fire can spread quickly and children need to be informed of the potential threat.
Fort Greely Fire and Emergency services would like to wish everyone a happy safe spring and summer. Let’s do our part to prevent this summer from being full of smoke. For any questions relating to fire safety contact the Fort Greely Fire Prevention Office at 907-873-3471.
Christopher B. Valiante