ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Assembly will consider an ordinance to protect neighborhoods from wildfires that start in homeless encampments, a report said.

The proposed changes to the municipal code would enable authorities to declare danger zones and clear such camps, KTVA-TV reported Wednesday.

The Assembly is scheduled to conduct a work session on the ordinance Aug. 2 and hold a public hearing Aug. 6.

Clearing the camps could occur after 24 to 72 hours of notice, depending on the fire threat level, replacing the current 10-day notice.

An immediate wildlife threat would allow immediate evacuation.

The proposed ordinance also gives the Anchorage Fire Department chief the ability to declare parts of town wildfire danger areas requiring mitigation for public safety.

Police could confiscate and store fire-making tools, and campers would be notified in person or through a posted notice, officials said.


Making changes to the municipal code to address risk when fire danger is high is a matter of public safety, said Assembly member Meg Zaletel, who sponsored the ordinance.

The change is meant to keep people safe who are living near encampments and protect people who are camping in the woods, Zaletel said.

“It still leaves the fire department, just like with our homes and everyone else, exigent circumstances where they can tell you you have to go now,” Zaletel said.


Information from: KTVA-TV,