Fire officials urge caution over Memorial Day weekend

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Its the Memorial Day weekend, and people should be careful when it comes to lighting fires during it.

The first holiday weekend of summer, Memorial Day, is usually the start of the wildfire season.

When it comes to celebrating a holiday during the summer, any sort of campfire, cooking on the grill, or debris burning should not go unattended.

Both state and federal fire managers encourage all Alaskans to be careful with any kind of fire activity that could spark a wildfire.

Anyone can be held responsible for the suppression costs associated with such a fire.

Tim Mowry from the Alaska Division of Forestry told us a little bit about fire safety during Memorial Day weekend.

"The number one thing that people need to do is you never leave any fire unattended," said Mowry. "Whether it's a campfire, a burn barrel, a debris burn, you know, you're burning leaves and brush in your yard. Even for a minute, you don't leave that fire unattended because that's when that fire can escape. If you're going to be camping, keep campfires small. Use an established camper if there is one. Have tools and water on hand for any kind of fire, whether it's a debris fire, burn barrel, or campfire so that if something does happen, you can take care of it right away. You need a burn permit from the Division of Forestry; you can get those at the area office here, or you can go online and download one."