Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Friday, August 18 2017 @ 03:51 PM AKDT


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Burning in Alaska

Public Notices
The majority of wildland fires in Alaska are caused by careless human activity.
Alaska's fire season is from April 1st to August 31st.
Burn permits are required during fire season for all open burning, with a few exceptions.
State laws and regulations pertaining to burning practices apply statewide all year. (AS 41.15.010-41.15-170 and 11 AAC95 Article 6).
Burn permits are subject to burn restrictions, suspensions, and closures.
All Burn Barrels require a burn permit and are subject to burn restrictions, suspensions and closures.
Campfires and warming fires less than 3 feet x 3 feet do not need a general burn permit. Remember burn safely, have tools and water, and put the fire out before you leave.
You are responsible for any fire you set or cause until it is 'dead out'. Fully understand and follow safe burning practices.
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Alaska wildland fires from 2015 still pose risks this year

Public NoticesA year after the second-largest fire season on record in Alaska, the 2015 fire season is still smoking.
The Alaska Division of Forestry has detected 16 “holdover” fires so far this season, including one on Saturday that ignited the 8,130-acre Medfra Fire now burning in a remote part of Southwest Alaska.

Holdover fires are just what the term implies, fires that were thought to be extinguished but come back to life the following season when conditions dry out and temperatures warm up. While not uncommon in fire-prone Alaska, the number of holdover fires this summer is much higher than normal.

State Forestry has found 12 holdover fires in the Kenai/Kodiak Area, three in Southwest Alaska and one in the Mat-Su Valley. All but one of those reported on the Kenai Peninsula were found within the perimeter of the Card Street Fire that burned almost 8,900 acres last year near Soldotna. The remaining holdover fire was from the 2014 Funny River Fire, which burned almost 200,000 acres.

Firefighters in the Mat-Su Valley on Sunday discovered a holdover fire from last year’s 7,500-acre Sockeye Fire in Willow.
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Funding Opportunities: Alaska Transportation Alternatives Program (ATAP)

Public NoticesThe Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) authorized the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to provide funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives. The TAP replaced the funding from pre-MAP-21 programs including the Transportation Enhancement Activities, Recreational Trails Program, Safe Routes to School Program. Map-21 apportioned funding distributions to MPOs with greater than 200,000 urbanized area populations, and apportioned funding to rural, urban and a statewide program.

A match of 20% is required for all TAP projects.

The FAST ACT eliminated the “Flexibility of Excess Reserved Funding” provision which allowed excess TAP funds for any TAP-eligible activity or for projects eligible under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ).

Available Funding:

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Nurses Week

Public NoticesWHEREAS, nurses in Alaska are a community treasure, as they bring compassion, understanding, and comfort to patients while using their knowledge and skills to deliver medical care; and

WHEREAS, we appreciate the dedication of the responsible men and women of Alaska who have chosen nursing as a career. These devoted and responsible professionals make a difference in the quality of lives and medical care every day in a variety of settings, impacting all Alaskans; and

WHEREAS, studies indicate that the appropriate levels of nurse staffing contribute to improved health outcomes, shorter hospital stays, fewer adverse events, safer patient care, and improved nursing work environments; and

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Law Enforcement Memorial Week

Public NoticesWHEREAS, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation in 1962 designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of May 15 as Police Week. It is fitting that we carry on this tradition of recognition and remembrance; and

WHEREAS, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, brave and dedicated men and women of the law enforcement community risk their lives while upholding the law and protecting the public to the best of their ability; and

WHEREAS, Alaskans acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices made not only by those individuals wearing the badge, but also the loved ones who support them each day; and

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Firefighters mopping up Sunrise Fire

Public NoticesHere’s the latest update on the 30-acre Sunrise Fire in the Meadow Lakes area just north of Wasilla in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley:

The fire has not grown in size and is 100 percent contained. Approximately 30 firefighters from the Alaska Division of Forestry are currently mopping up the fire and extinguishing any hot spots they find. A piece of heavy equipment is being brought in to help break up berm rows and expose areas of heat. Firefighters from the Gannett Glacier and Pioneer Peak crews will remain on the fire through the evening.

“This is the point of the fire where the excitement is over but there is still a lot of hard work to ensure it is out,” said Mat-Su Area Fire Management Officer Norm McDonald. “They are in mop up mode with lots of work due to berm rows and heavy fuels.”
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State Forestry battling 15-acre fire in Meadow Lakes

Public NoticesThe Sunrise Fire in the community of Meadow Lakes just north of Wasilla is now estimated at 12-15 acres and the Alaska Division of Forestry is bringing in more air and ground support to help get the human-caused blaze under control.

More than 30 wildland firefighters from State Forestry are responding to the fire, which was reported at around 2:30 p.m. An air tanker based in Palmer has dropped several loads of retardant on the fire to help prevent it from spreading. A helicopter has also been deployed to drop water on the fire and another helicopter has been ordered to assist in the operation.

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New Land Use Restrictions on Mat-Su Streams

Public Noticesvia Email:

The borough presented a proposed ordinance at the planning commission meeting yesterday that would restricts land use on salmon streams. It is called a Riparian Buffer . It will be added to Title 17

Depending on whether the use is residential, multi-family, or commercial there will be a no-disturb zone on your property 50 feet -100 feet from the high water line. This is not a set-back, this is a no disturb zone. You may not cut down trees, or disturb the roots of the plants in that zone. You will be able to clear up to 10 percent of the property to the creek. So if you have 150 feet of frontage you will have use of a 15 foot swath, the rest of it is taken by this ordinance.

This has been a very well coordinated push by certain entities.

If you know anyone who will be affected by this they should attend the next public meeting on it which is currently scheduled for May 16 at the borough.

You can read more about it here:

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Public Notice: Proposal to Lease State Airport Land at Big Lake Airport

Public NoticesThe Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities proposes to continue to lease Lot 7, Block 100, consisting of approximately 41,400 square feet (ADA-09101 successive lease to ADA-07554), at the Big Lake Airport for an additional 5 years. Applicant: Michael A. and Sharlee Susan Zipay. Authorized uses: Aeronautical – continued operation and maintenance of an aircraft hangar for private use; use of mobile fuel tank for storage and dispensing of aviation fuel into lessee’s private aircraft only; parking and tie-down of Lessee’s private aircraft only. Annual rent: $2,691.

This is an application filed under AS 02.15.090(c), which allows the Department to grant the proposed lease term extension without competition. Written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., April 14, 2016, after which the Department will determine whether or not to execute the Lease. The Department’s decision will be sent only to persons who submit written comment or objection to the Department, at the address and by the date and time specified in this notice, and include their return address. Information is available from Kimber Amundson, Anchorage Office, Aviation Leasing, PO Box 196900, Anchorage, Alaska 99519, (907) 269-0739. Anyone needing hearing impaired accommodation may call TDD (907) 269-0473.

The Department reserves the right to correct technical defects, term, or purposes and may reject any or all comments.
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Notice of Application to Apply Herbicide to Control Invasive Elodea in Alexander Lake

Public NoticesThe Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture has applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a permit to apply herbicide to control invasive elodea in Alexander Lake in the Matanuska Susitna Borough.

The following project is proposed and is being reviewed by the appropriate regulatory programs. DEC requests comments from the public regarding the permit application. Copies of the application are available on-line or upon request.

PROJECT NAME: Alexander Lake Elodea Aquatic Pesticide Use Permit.
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