Cutbacks May Be In The Works For Our DNR Office
|An Out-of-Control Forest Fire Rampages Through A Black Spruce Forest.|
|Black Spruce Have Only One Goal: To Burn.|
The Copper Valley is linked to one of the most important game units in Alaska. And, it's in an area that is highly susceptible to forest fires -- due to its massive mature-growth stands of scrubby black spruce, densely packed together. The region is a tinderbox, ready to happen -- and all of our small towns, villages, settlements and communities would be in the way if a large forest fire were to occur.
The last really large fire in the region was the Wilson Camp Lightning Fire of 1983, which was located on the other side of the Copper River, and spewed ash up into the air in front of Mount Drum, in columns that looked like an atomic bomb had blown up.
As many rural Alaskans know, the entire purpose of a black spruce is to grow to a twisted, dry little tree -- and then catch on fire, tossing its pitch-filled "witch's broom" high into the air on a forest fire updraft, so it can travel miles away and replant itself. Photos, Bearfoot.