Memorial Day Weekend represents the unofficial start of summer in Alaska. It’s the weekend when people start cleaning up their yards, head out for the first camping or boating trip of the summer and break out grills for barbecuing.
All those activities can lead to wildfires, which is why Alaska’s state and federal wildland fire managers remind Alaskans and visitors alike to exercise caution with any activity that could spark a wildfire over the holiday weekend.
With high wildfire danger persisting in many parts of the state due to warm, dry conditions, the flurry of recreational activity over the first holiday weekend of the summer increases the chances of new wildfire starts. Popular Memorial Day Weekend activities that can ignite wildfires include campfires, debris burning, barbecue grills, use of all-terrain vehicles, fireworks and target shooting, to name a handful.
Alaska experienced one of its earliest and warmest springs on record this year, melting away the snowpack earlier than normal and resulting in a vigorous start to the wildfire season.