black spruce smallThe Firewise/Wildfire Mitagtion Program ended on Friday 9/12/2014. After 11 summers the program has ended due to a lack of funding.

Over 1,250 residents participated during that time. Statistics indicate that 82% of homes have a medium fire risk,  4% are high, and 14% are low risk.

The wildfire threat is very real. Creating defensible space and minimizing wildfire threats to homes should remain a priority for residents of the borough. Personal preparedness for a wildfire disaster is still very necessary.

The program is over, the staff is gone, but the catastrophic wildfire threat remains.

It is up to you.

  ~Michele Abe & Bea Adler

Burn Permits

Burn Permits Required from April 1st to August 31st for all Open Burning and Burn Barrels 

Available at all borough fire stations or online at:



Tahoe  WildfireFireWise is a program which helps people learn what they can do to protect their homes and families and live compatibly with wildfire. It encourages homeowners to prepare before a wildfire.

The  Home Ignition Zone (HIZ)  surrounds a house and may be 100-200 feet. Traditionally broken into three zones, when cleared of flammable vegetation it can become defensible space. Removing or reducing vegetation may prevent the spread of wildfire and home loss. 




Articles, Info & Links

flame guy

Click the flame to access the 2009 Firewise Alaska Booklet

Driveway Clearance Diagram

State Forestry Fire Managment Brochure

Wildfire Fuel Thinning Diagram

Shaded Fuel Break Diagram

Spruce Bark Beetle Brochure - cooperative extension office article

Firewood Tips

Smokey Bear Activity Book - for Kids K-2

Wildfires & Climate Change Article


Preparedness Links

Red Cross, Wildfire  -

 Federal Emergency Management Agency  - 

State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security  -


Links to other sites:

State of Alaska Division of Forestry Burn Permits -

FireWise Website  -

City of Anchorage Wildfire Mitigation  - 

National Interagency Fire Center, national fire info -

Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center  -


Community Wildfire Protection Plan

In 2007 the borough adopted a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for its entire acreage. It identifies community assets such as schools, fire stations, utilities and other things which would be vulnerable to wildfire. Loss of such assets would be devastating to the community.  Hazardous vegetation areas which may fuel a wildfire are identified. Fuel reduction projects were also identified to help protect valuable and vulnerable assets.


The followed on the heels of the 2006 formation of the Horseshoe Lake Firewise Community, near Big Lake. They became the first Firewise Community in the State of Alaska. The community had lost many houses in the 1996 Miller's Reach Fire, which burned approximately 56 square miles as well as over 400 homes and outbuildings. In order to become recognized on the national level, part of their requirements were to create a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). It was the first in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.



©2013 Matanuska-Susitna Borough
For questions or comments about the Borough,
or Borough Services, call (907)861-7801

For website issues contact the IT Helpdesk

Matanuska-Susitna Borough
350 E. Dahlia Ave.
Palmer, Ak 99645
Hours of Operation: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM