Tongass Fire Warning Rescinded

The risk of fires in Southeast’s Tongass National Forest has dropped.

A warning was issued last week as warm, sunny weather dried out grass and underbrush.

But Fire Management Officer Seth Ross says that’s changed.

“It seems that the forecast and the current weather indicate that we’re going back to our typical Southeast Alaska pattern, coming out of that warm and dry weather,” Ross says.

“So, we are going to rescind that warning, but still, caution people to always be careful of fire in the woods,” he says.

Ross says the Tongass sees an average of 17 fires each year. Sometimes it’s as high as 40. Most are brush and peat fires.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.