black spruce smallIt is with great sadness that we announce THE LAST SEASON of the local Firewise Program. Program scheduled to end August 31, 2014.

Don't miss out! CALL 861-8016 to make an appointment.


  • The purpose is to reduce life and property loss from wildfire. 
  • Wildfires happen, be ready!
  • Studies indicate that 60% of homes lost to wildfires are due to embers!
  • Insurance companies may deny your claim. 
  • Homeowners can prepare before wildfire occurs.
  • Shares other disaster preparedness information!  

Who:  The Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s Department of Emergency Services Wildfire Mitigation/Firewise Program.   It is FOR any and all homeowners in the borough. 

Where:  Anywhere across the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

When:  All summer by appointment. We DO work evenings and weekends.

How:  Call 861-8016 to make an appointment.

What:   A program designed to help homeowners identify their vulnerabilities to wildfire. Helps home owners and builders identify what they CAN do to minimize their wildfire risks.

  • Uses a standardized form created by the Alaska Wildland Fire Coordinating Group to give an overall wildfire risk score.
  • There is NO obligation to cut trees. The program is designed to help homeowners help themselves.

Ask yourself: "Am I prepared?" If the answer is "no", call us, we can help! 861-8016.

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. 





Firewise Series: Why Homes Burn


Fire Behavior in the Wildland Urban Interface (21minutes)


Firewise Communities (17 minutes)





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.



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