Photo: Viktor Hanacer

Given the potential effects of COVID-19 on the upcoming fire season, Alaska’s wildland fire suppression agencies need the public’s help more than ever to keep firefighters and communities safe, announced state officials Tuesday.

Burn barrels, the burning of debris piles, and any other outdoor burning activity authorized by state burn permits will be prohibited on all state, private and municipal lands throughout Alaska as of May 1, according to a press release.

Any person or business found to be violating this burn permit suspension order may be issued a citation to pay a fine or appear in court, officials say.

The barn does not include cooking, warming or signaling fires that are less than three feet in diameter with flame lengths no more than two feet high or commercially manufactured outdoor cooking and heating devices with built-in open flame safety devices.

State officials say they anticipate a lack of firefighting resources available from the Lower 48 as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.