FRANKLYWNOW - AFD concerned about fires in homeless camps

AFD concerned about fires in homeless camps

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Dry conditions in the Anchorage Bowl have led to a burn ban, but firefighters say some people don’t appear to be getting the message. The department has already received calls about campfires in homeless camps.

“There are homeless people in most, if not all, of our greenbelts around town,” said Fire Capt. Paul Badalich. “And they are going to have cooking fires or warming fires. It’s illegal, but they still do it and if they don’t attend them or even sometimes if they do attend them, sometimes those things get away and we have fires.”

Badalich said no wildfires have been reported this year as a result of runaway campfires, but last year there was a major wildfire that started in a homeless camp near the Roger’s Park neighborhood. He doesn’t want to see that happen again.

Right now, campfires are only allowed in designated fire pits, which Badalich said could be in a campground or even in a backyard. But he warned that even then, people must be very careful because fire danger is high.

“Stuff is just really dry right now,” he said. “There’s all of last seasons dead grass and leaves. It’s just going to take some time for that to green up.”

KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or Twitter.

The post AFD concerned about fires in homeless camps appeared first on KTVA 11.

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