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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve: Removes Hazard Fuels, Provides Job Training and Donates Wood.
Copper Center, Alaska—The Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve's headquarters hazard fuels project begins today, August 30th, 2010. The project aims to thin vegetation and create defensible space around structures where fire poses an unacceptable threat to property and resources. By thinning vegetation, fire managers plan to reduce the risk of eventual wildland and provide for firefighter and public safety. Cutting begins Tuesday, August 31st. The first phase of the project will be completed by September 30th, 2010.
National Park Service Fire Management and Southeast Alaska Guidance Association (SAGA) crew members will implement the project. The project is not a "clear cut", rather a thinning of vegetation in the 18 acres surrounding the headquarters roads, buildings, and parking area. Serve Alaska Corp, SAGA crewmembers, aim to use the hazard fuels project as an avenue to explore career paths, seek leadership experience, and serve Alaskan communities.
Biomass accumulated during the project will be donated as firewood to Ahtna elders in the Copper River community through the Copper River Native Association or piled for burning by fire staff later in the winter.
Wrangell-St. Elias staff invites the local community, visitors, and media to come observe the hazard fuels project and learn how to live compatibly with wildfire. National Park Service staff will be available to explain the project and Firewise techniques to reduce fire risk to your home, property, and community. Visitors are strongly encouraged to inquire with park staff to find out about safe and restricted viewing areas.
For additional information regarding the Headquarters Hazard Fuels project, please visit the https://www.nps.gov/wrst/ and click the Fuels Project In Park link. For more information please contact:
Mark Keogh, Public Information Officer, 907-822-7223 or Katie Budzinski, Public Information Officer, 907-699-2268.