Wildfires in Lake Clark?
Yes, on occasion and when conditions are right.
The park's wildfire season can start in May due to longer, warmer days and typically peaks in June although a few human-caused fires have occurred in April and September. Fires are infrequent in the eastern two thirds of the park due to the maritime coastal influence of Cook Inlet, glacial extent and high elevation in the Aleutian Mountain Range. However, the western third of the park sits on the edge of the Interior boreal forest, also known as the lightning belt; a place where frequent lightning-ignited fires help make ecosystems healthy and have done so for thousands of years. The 2005 Stony Fire was the most recent large-scale fire to burn in this area. It grew to nearly 3,000 acres.
Human-caused fires that have the potential to threaten lives and property can occur throughout the park. The majority of these preventable fires are campfires. A large1953 fire burned near the town of Port Alsworth.
Fire professionals at Lake Clark balance the risks and benefits of fire by committing to safety, science, and stewardship. They reduce the fire risk around park cabins and structures by removing flammable vegetation. Staff monitors the effects of fires. Through shared fire responsibilities with the State of Alaska Division of Forestry, they protect life, property and significant natural and cultural resources. They also work with communities, local, state, federal, and native organizations to keep Alaskans and visitors safe and landscapes healthy.
More Information Resources
Firewise is an excellent program for property owners in Alaska. Learn what your responsibilities are and practical things you can do to help protect your home and property from wildfire.
Did You Know?
Dall's sheep are the only wild sheep in the world with a white coat. Because they prefer steep, mountainous habitat, spotting a sheep is a rare treat in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.