Wrangell-St. Elias to begin Fuels Project in McCarthy

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Date: August 12, 2011
Contact: Mark Keogh, 907-822-7223


For Immediate Release

Wrangell-St. Elias to begin Fuels Project in McCarthy

Copper Center, Alaska- The National Park Service Eastern Area Fire Management Program in cooperation with the BLM Alaska Fire Service, Southeast Alaska Guidance Association (SAGA), Morrison Construction, and the State of Alaska will implement a hazard fuels reduction project on NPS and adjacent lands south of the University Subdivision in wildland/urban interface near the town of McCarthy, Alaska Aug. 22 through Sept. 30.

The goal of the project will be to create a hazard fuels buffer between the McCarthy University Subdivision and the NPS parklands that will allow for greater public and firefighter safety in the event of a wildland fire.Crews will fell and buck some of the black and white spruce trees in the project area, and slash will be chipped or piled for later burning. Firewood quality wood will be set aside for later transport to a staging area.This mechanical/manual treatment will not be a "clear cut" fuel break, but rather a thinning of fuels in order to keep fire behavior to a more manageable level. Creation of this space reduces the risk of property damage in the event of a wildland fire, improves safety forvisitors and residents and provides a safe area for fire suppression crews to work.

The BLM Alaska Fire Service will be providing one or more 20-person Interagency Hotshot Crews, as well as other logistical support. The Southeast Alaska Guidance Association-a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve lives, lands, and communities in Alaska through Service learning-will be providing an 8-person service corps crew. Morrison Construction is a local forestry, landscaping, and log home construction firm that was contracted by the National Park Service to do a portion of this work. The State of Alaska contributed to the project by permitting the fuel break across State lands.

The interagency effort will result in 60 acres of thinned forest south of the McCarthy Creek Subdivision on a mix of National Park Service and State of Alaska lands. The fire break created with this project will supplementthe natural fuel breaks of the Kennecott River and McCarthy Creek reducing the risk of wildland fire to the local community.

For additional information, visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/wrst/index.htm or contact the park's public Information Officer at 907-822-7223.

You to can be prepared for wildfire.Practice outdoor safety and take steps to make your home Firewise. Visit www.firewise.org for more information.


Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
PO Box 439
Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

Copper Center, AK 99573


(907) 822-5234

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