Fire danger described as high in the Tongass

    Photo courtesy of Capital City Fire Rescue

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The U. S. Forest Service is calling on the public to take care with fires in the wake of last weekend's wildland fire near Eagle Beach State Park.

    Robert Berne is a Fire Module Supervisor for the agency's Alaska Region stationed in the Tongass Forest.  He said the whole forest from Ketchikan up to Yakutat has moved into high fire danger.    "All it takes is the right start in the right place on the right day and it's going to be off and running."

    Last weekend's fire consumed about 15 acres.  The cause remains under investigation, but Berney said they figure it was human-caused although not intentionally set.  An out of control campfire left burning is a likely suspect.

    Operations were hampered last weekend when a private drone in the area grounded the helicopter used in the fire fighting operation for a half an hour.

    Berney offered this advice while a guest on Action Line.  "Be safe out there. Enjoy the forest and remember basic fire safety.  And those drones.  That's a big one.  It can be catastrophic with the pilots, as well as shutting down our operations."

    Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours.  The helicopter was used to drop water on the fire.


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