Number of complaints about smoke on the increase in Juneau

    The fire chief says that so far this summer, we're at about 56 incidents of neighbors complaining about each other.

    The number of complaints about smoke is on the increase, according to Capital City Fire Rescue.

    Fire Chief Rich Etheridge said on Action Line recently:

    "So far this summer, I think we're at about 56 incidents of neighbors complaining about each other. It doesn't take a huge amount of time, but the big impact to the department is those guys have to pack up from their training, disconnect hoses, drop what they're doing, come out to look at the neighbor's burn, deal with that for 10 or 15 minutes, and then go back and try to start their training again. It's a huge interruption to the process of training firefighters and having them ready for other incidents. We don't do a whole lot with the people that called unless they're a real chronic complainer of stuff, but we do try to work with the people that have the fires on ways to reduce the amount of smoke."

    Etheridge noted that some recommendations to curb the amount of smoke produced in a fire are loosely stacking material to be burned, as well as making sure that it's dry:

    "Don't put a ton of spruce branches on at a time, and Green Alder leaves don't burn very well. If your fire is putting out black smoke, you're burning stuff that you shouldn't be."

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