The SVFD determines burn bans based on the Fire Weather Index (FWI), as posted on the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center website. The FWI is a measurement of current fire conditions that takes into account precipitation, fuel moisture, drought code, and other indices to arrive at a global determination of fire danger.
A Total Burn Ban prohibits open burning anywhere within the Municipality of Skagway. Total Burn Bans will be in effect whenever the FWI is Extreme on any single day, or when it is measured as Very High for 2 consecutive days.
A Limited Burn Ban prohibits open burning outside of the municipal hydrant area, which is bounded by the Skagway River to the west, White Pass Shops Road to the north, and the railroad tracks to the east. A Limited Burn Ban will be in effect whenever the FWI is Very High on any single day, or when it is measured as High for 2 consecutive days.
Total Burn Bans may be downgraded to Limited if the FWI drops below Very High for 2 consecutive days. All Burn Bans will be lifted if the FWI drops to Moderate for 2 consecutive days, or when it is measured as Low on a given day.
If the FWI is inconsistent with local observations or actual fire behavior, the SVFD may declare burn bans to be in effect as a precaution.