Chiniak Burn Area Open for Firewood Collection

Firewood. Liz West / Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Piles of wood debris line the road following tree salvage in Chiniak. Starting today, people are free to take them.

Both wood harvest and replanting is complete, and borough resource management officer Maggie Slife says the borough wants to give the community the chance to stock up on firewood.

She says there’s both slash and reject wood on the roads.

“So, any logs that weren’t suitable for timber harvest, they might have core rot or they might be too small or you just get can’t a dimensional piece of lumber out of them. Those are stacked there as well.”

She says the entry point is a little driveway just off the Chiniak Highway that goes into the borough area.

“We have a gate that our contractors have been using to access the burn area for the timber harvest. That gate has been locked and restricted to only our contractors’ use. That was mostly for safety. The roads are logging roads, so they’re not standard width, they’re not standard grade. The idea was that we wanted to protect the public from logging trucks and other large machinery out there.”

The gate is now open for public access, but Slife asks that people be careful not to crush the saplings when they enter the property. She says the borough’s contractor just finished replanting around 200,000 new trees over the 600 acres of land.

Gathering firewood is free of charge, but interested community members will need to get a permit from the borough beforehand.

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