WHEREAS, Alaska’s wildlands are an unmatched resource for Alaskans. They enhance our scenery, provide habitat for our fish and wildlife, provide recreational activities, timber resources, and clean water, and enrich the lives of Alaskans; and
WHEREAS, wildland fire is inevitable in Alaska. For centuries our ecosystems have depended on the natural fire regime to maintain forest health and provide a range of wildlife habitats that enhance our Alaska lifestyles; and
WHEREAS, wildland fires can start unpredictably and spread at a rapid pace, endangering the lives and property of Alaskans; and
WHEREAS, the safety of the public and firefighters is the first priority in all wildland fire management activities within the state, and wildland fire management agencies and organizations in Alaska share common goals to enhance personal safety and reduce loss of life while preserving and enhancing the health of forest and wetlands; and
WHEREAS, in addition to naturally-occurring wildfires, human-caused wildland fires occur each year in areas surrounding towns and communities where homes and businesses intermingle with undeveloped lands and the more populated and closer a community is to fire prone areas, the greater the need for proactive individual and community involvement in preparing for and preventing unwanted wildland fires; and
WHEREAS, the trend in recent years has been for earlier and longer fire seasons as a result of a changing climate, and on average more than 1 million acres burn as a result of wildfires in Alaska each year, making public awareness of wildland fire prevention practices and preparedness measures essential for public safety.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 14-20, 2017 as:
Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to celebrate the week through individual and community efforts to reduce the threat of wildland fire to their homes, property and communities.
Dated: April 20, 2017