Press Releases

06/24/15 DPS PR #15-020

Operation Dry Water

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Alaska Wildlife Troopers are gearing up for the sixth annual heightened awareness and educational campaign, Operation Dry Water. This weekend, from June 26 through June 28, Troopers will be out on the waterways specifically to contact boaters to make sure all vessel operators are not impaired.
Last year during Operation Dry Water, 38 Troopers across the state put 387 hours toward the heightened enforcement efforts. Troopers patrolled the lakes and rivers in the Mat-Su area, Kenai Peninsula, salt water areas of Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, and Kodiak.  In addition, Troopers spent time on the Kuskokwim River from Bethel to Aniak and as well as the Chena and Tanana Rivers in the Fairbanks area.

From June 27 – 29, 2014, Troopers conducted the following:

  • 686 vessels and 2211 boaters were contacted
  • 33 citation were issued and 106 warnings were provided for recreational boating offenses
  • Field sobriety tests were conducted on a number of boaters, the highest BAC recorded was .067, and no boaters were arrested for BUI
  • In addition, 56 fishing offenses and 2 other offenses were identified.

“Statistics tell us that alcohol is the leading contributing factor across the nation in boating-related accidental deaths,” said Captain Steve Hall, commander of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers’ Southern Detachment. "However, we believe boating under the influence is a much bigger problem than we can quantify based on statistics.”
The focus of Operation Dry Water is to educate boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence. In Alaska, the standards for a DUI are the same for watercraft, motorized vehicles and aircraft, (AS 28.35.030). A person can get a DUI if they are impaired by alcohol, controlled substances or even prescription medication. Additionally, Troopers will promote safe recreating on the water encouraging all boaters to don a personal floatation device.
The heightened enforcement effort is organized nationally by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). In Alaska, AWT will participate statewide. The goal is to contact as many boaters as possible to ensure they are complying with boating safety laws and not boating under the influence.

NASBLA has a website with great resources about the program: http://www.operationdrywater.org/

PDF version of the release


06/19/15 DPS PR #15-019

Fireworks Suspension Expanded

The Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office has added three more localities to be included in the immediate suspension on fireworks in accordance with Alaska Administrative Code 50.025 Fire Code. In cooperation with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Division of Forestry the suspension will include the sale and use of all fireworks and will be in effect for the following areas:

  • Copper River Valley
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough
  • Kenai Borough
  • Matanuska Susitna Borough
  • Municipality of Anchorage
  • Tanana Valley north of the Alaska Range
  • Western Alaska

 

It is furthermore highly recommended that all areas of the state not use fireworks and that you check your local laws regarding consumer fireworks. Fireworks not only pose a fire danger, but also have a tendency to cause physical injuries and children should never be allowed to play with fireworks. Together we can make Alaska a safe place.

REMEMBER: FIRE SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

For more information contact: Michael Warzewick
Training and Education Bureau – Public Education Coordinator
645 Cope Industrial Way, Palmer, AK 99645 – Voice (907) 746-5062 – Fax (907) 745-4529

PDF version of the release


06/18/15 DPS PR #15-018 

Fireworks Suspension

(PALMER, Alaska)—The Alaska State Fire Marshal’s Office in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources / Division of Forestry is implementing an immediate suspension on fireworks in accordance with Alaska Administrative Code 50.025 Fire Code. The suspension will include the sale and use of all fireworks and will be in effect for the following areas:

  • Fairbanks North Star Borough
  • Kenai Borough
  • Municipality of Anchorage
  • Matanuska Susitna Borough

 

It is furthermore highly recommended that all areas of the state not use fireworks and that you check your local laws regarding consumer fireworks. Fireworks not only pose a fire danger, but also have a tendency to cause physical injuries and children should never be allowed to play with fireworks. Together we can make Alaska a safe place.

REMEMBER: FIRE SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

For more information contact: Michael Warzewick
Training and Education Bureau – Public Education Coordinator
645 Cope Industrial Way, Palmer, AK 99645 – Voice (907) 746-5062 – Fax (907) 745-4529

PDF version of the release


06/17/15 DPS PR #15-017

How You Can Help with the Current Fire Situation

(PALMER, Alaska)— With the current wild land fire situation, many Alaskan’s want to know how they can help. With resources being stretched thin, the best thing we can do is not put ourselves into situations that require the intervention of emergency services.  Many of the state’s emergency personnel are trained in several disciplines, including wildland fires.  When they are needed for another incident, such as a structure fire or automobile accident, it takes time and energy needed elsewhere.  Following are ways to help minimize taking resources from large incidents:

  • Cooperate with all emergency personnel regarding evacuations and traffic.  If you do not it may require them to initiate a rescue later, again using up valuable resources. When asked, get out and stay out.
  • Privately owned aircraft need to stay away from these restricted fire incidents. Other, unnecessary aircraft interfere with tanker and helicopter suppression efforts and possibly medical transport aircraft.
  • Use common sense and practicing fire safety at all times, especially as it pertains to any outside burning: Safe Barbeque practices such as keeping it clean and well away from other combustibles. Never leave a Barbeque, warming or cooking fire unattended or in the hands of children.

The link below will take you to the “Burning in Alaska” and Burn Permit Program.  This is where you learn about more safe burning practices and if there is a burn restriction, suspension or closure.  It is also wise to check with your local fire department.
http://forestry.alaska.gov/burn/

REMEMBER: FIRE SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

For more information contact: Michael Warzewick
Training and Education Bureau – Public Education Coordinator
645 Cope Industrial Way, Palmer, AK 99645 – Voice (907) 746-5062 – Fax (907) 745-4529

PDF version of the release