The state Division of Forestry and the Anchorage Fire Department have been clearing out trees in Chugach State Park to help reduce the threat of wildfires in the Stuckagain Heights and Prospect Heights areas.
Removing live and dead spruce trees in the area reduces how fast fire can spread on the Anchorage Hillside.
Crews have spent the past several days cutting down the trees.
AFD says live spruce trees can actually spread fire quicker than dried-out dead ones, because the needles on live trees provide better fuel for the fire.
After cutting the trees down and sectioning them up, the remains are gathered into piles and burned -- you may have seen some of the smoke plumes up on the Hillside in recent days.
While crews go through this same procedure every year, it usually doesn't happen until the fall. But this year they got to tackle it early because of an early fire season in Alaska and the Lower 48.
“Because the fires are slow in the Lower 48, this crew is still in Alaska,” said AFD's Sue Rodman. “So, in that respect, we can use them here on project work until they need to be used on another fire.”
The forestry crews will wrap up their current project on the Hillside by the end of this week.
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