SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Fireworks prohibited on public lands & permits required in the Ketchikan Borough


July 03, 2019
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - As the Fourth of July approaches, fire officials remind visitors that fireworks are prohibited on the Tongass National Forest at all times, regardless of weather conditions. With southeast Alaska still in a drought, wildland fires will start more easily and spread more quickly, making the use of fireworks even more dangerous. 

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough also issued a fireworks alert that under Ketchikan Gateway Borough Code 8.3, it is unlawful to sell, possess or utilize fireworks without a permit in the borough.

“With warm and dry conditions, all it takes is one small spark to start a wildfire,” said Acting Forest Fire Management Officer Una Pesata. “Please be safe and responsible with fire when visiting the Tongass this summer.” 

Fireworks are banned on national forests at all times, regardless of weather or conditions. Fireworks are also prohibited on other public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service. Violators can be subject to a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail (36 CFR 261.52). Additionally, anyone who starts a wildfire can be held liable for suppression costs.

Over 95% of wildland fires in Southeast are human caused. The majority of those fires are caused by unattended campfires. Visitors are encouraged to practice campfire safety.

  • Never build a campfire on top of combustible material. Choose a location such as a beach or an area that is bare mineral soil.
  • Check with the local unit and know before you go whether campfires are allowed in the area you are visiting. Fire restrictions may be in place depending on current conditions. 
  •  Keep your campfire small and away from flammable material.
  • Use a designated campfire ring when available.
  • Keep water and shovel nearby.
  • Completely extinguish your campfire by drowning your fire with water and stirring with a shovel.
  • Make sure your campfire is cold to the touch before leaving it.



Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:


Ketchikan Gateway Borough



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