Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/17/2018 09:00 AM JUDICIARY

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 170 AK SECURITIES ACT; PENALTIES; CRT. RULES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 355 FIRE;FOREST LAND; CRIMES;FIRE PREVENTION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 307 MILITARY JUSTICE & MILITIA CIVIL RELIEF TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 307(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        HB 355-FIRE;FOREST LAND; CRIMES;FIRE PREVENTION                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:35:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL  announced  the consideration  of  HB  355.  [CSHB
355(JUD) was before the committee.]                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:36:28 AM                                                                                                                    
ALLIANA  SALANGUIT,   Staff,  Representative   David  Guttenberg,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska, stated  that HB  355                                                               
seeks  to prevent  human-caused fires.  Some of  these have  been                                                               
very large and  expensive. The Sockeye fire resulted  in the loss                                                               
of  55  residences and  $10  million,  the  McHugh fire  cost  $6                                                               
million,  and  the  Hastings  fire cost  $20  million.  The  bill                                                               
inserts stronger  language in  the statute  and implements  a new                                                               
bail  schedule. She  continued the  introduction speaking  to the                                                               
following sponsor statement:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Most  of   the  current   Division  of   Forestry  fire                                                                    
     prevention laws  were enacted in  1961. HB  355 updates                                                                    
     and  modernizes   the  wildland  fire   prevention  and                                                                    
     enforcement  statutes,   with  the  ultimate   goal  of                                                                    
     reducing the  number of human  caused fires  in Alaska.                                                                    
     This bill  reduces risks to  human life, loss  of homes                                                                    
     and  structures, extensive  property  damage, and  fire                                                                    
     suppression costs.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Current burning offenses  are unclassified misdemeanors                                                                    
     that  require  a  mandatory court  appearance  and  are                                                                    
     punishable by a fine of  between $100-$1,000 or 10 days                                                                    
     to  6  months  imprisonment.   The  bill  replaces  the                                                                    
     current   system   with   a   tiered   prevention   and                                                                    
     enforcement  structure,   similar  to  fish   and  game                                                                    
     violations.  Violations  of regulations  adopted  under                                                                    
     the  bill  that  would  be  "bail  schedule"  offenses,                                                                    
     allowing  DOF prevention  officers  to issue  citations                                                                    
     for violations  of these offenses. The  bill also gives                                                                    
     state  fire  prevention  officers more  flexibility  in                                                                    
     responding  to  burning  violations  and  investigating                                                                    
     wildland  fires.  "Knowing"   violations  of  the  bill                                                                    
     provisions  would   be  a  class  A   misdemeanor,  and                                                                    
     resolution would require a mandatory court appearance.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The  bill  also  addresses   enforcement  gaps  in  the                                                                    
     existing   arson  and   criminally  negligent   burning                                                                    
     statutes  in  AS  11.46,  makes  technical  changes  to                                                                    
     clarify the right of state  fire prevention officers to                                                                    
     enter   land   to   investigate   wildland   fire   and                                                                    
     establishes a  misdemeanor offense of  interfering with                                                                    
     this   right  of   access,  and   corrects  potentially                                                                    
     conflicting statutory provisions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Over  the last  15 years,  the length  of the  wildland                                                                    
     fire season  and amount of  acreage burned  each year--                                                                    
     especially  in  and   near  communities--has  increased                                                                    
     dramatically. The  statutes and regulations  that guide                                                                    
     our prevention and management of  wildland fire need to                                                                    
     keep pace  with these changes  which is why I  hope you                                                                    
     will join me in supporting this bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:37:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  explained that  HB 307  modernizes the                                                               
statutes  related  to  wildland   fires.  The  bail  schedule  is                                                               
separated based on  the activity. It's one thing to  build a fire                                                               
in  a yard  outside a  burn barrel  and without  a grate  whereas                                                               
setting  a fire  that gets  out of  control is  another level  of                                                               
crime. Knowingly  and intentionally setting  a fire is  a felony.                                                               
Some of  the existing definitions  are clarified and much  of the                                                               
language is modernized.  He said if Chris Maisch  agrees with any                                                               
changes the committee might make, he would not object.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:39:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS MAISCH, State Forester and  Director, Division of Forestry,                                                               
Department of Natural Resources  (DNR), Fairbanks, Alaska, stated                                                               
that  about 80  percent  of the  wildland  fires are  preventable                                                               
because  they  are human  caused.  They  are very  expensive  and                                                               
preventing even  one could  save the  state treasure  $20 million                                                               
and prevent  risk to the  public and  the firefighters.   He said                                                               
another key point  is that the division  has aggressive education                                                               
programs.  These  include  the   Firewise  Program  that  teaches                                                               
homeowners  and businesses  how to  survive a  wildland fire  and                                                               
several   school-based  programs   that  promote   smart  burning                                                               
practices, especially during fire season.  HB 355 provides a more                                                               
modern approach to enforcement, which any good education program                                                                
needs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL stated  support for  a strong  educational program                                                               
combined  with  increased  penalties.  He  noted  that  the  fire                                                               
department in his  area provides good education when  it issues a                                                               
burn permit.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:41:42 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. SALANGUIT delivered the following sectional analysis for HB
355.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section   1.  Amends   AS  11.46.427(a)(2)   by  adding                                                                    
     references  to  AS 41.15.060  -  41.15.120  to make  it                                                                    
     easier  for  agencies   to  coordinate  enforcement  of                                                                    
     similar  statutes that  appear in  different Titles  of                                                                    
     law.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section  2.  Amends  AS  41.15.010   to  add  the  word                                                                    
     forested land  to the intent language  of this statute.                                                                    
     Forested land  is already defined  in AS  41.15.170 and                                                                    
     brings   consistency  to   terminology   used  in   the                                                                    
     statutes.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3. Amends AS  41.15.040 by updating terminology                                                                    
     by  deleting   the  "division   of  land"   and  adding                                                                    
     "division of  forestry". Clarifies  the right  of entry                                                                    
     to public  or privately owned  land for the  purpose of                                                                    
     preventing,  suppressing  and  controlling  a  wildland                                                                    
     fire to include for  the purpose of "investigating" and                                                                    
     "when responding  to a wildland fire  or suspected fire                                                                    
     or administering the provisions of this chapter."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4.  Adds a new  subsection (b) to  AS 41.15.040                                                                    
     that clarifies that a person  may not interfere with or                                                                    
     prohibit access  authorized under (a) of  this section,                                                                    
     which is the right to enter for the purposes stated.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section  5. Amends  AS 41.15.050  Fire Season  to allow                                                                    
     the  commissioner   the  ability  to   designate  other                                                                    
     periods as  fire season at  any time in order  to allow                                                                    
     open  burning  only  by  permit  or  to  prohibit  open                                                                    
     burning.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section  6. Amends  AS 41.15.060.  Permits. To  include                                                                    
     obtaining  a  permit  for  setting  of  fires,  use  of                                                                    
     burning devices,  and other activities and  use of land                                                                    
     that increases fire danger.  This would include burning                                                                    
     devices such as burn barrels,  a common source of urban                                                                    
     interface ignitions.  This section  is also  amended to                                                                    
     remove the type of offense  a violation of this section                                                                    
     would  be and  relies  on a  new  section to  establish                                                                    
     types of violations.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section  7.  Adds  a new  subsection  to  AS  41.15.060                                                                    
     stating  that  a  person may  not  participate  in  any                                                                    
     activities that  increase fire danger without  a permit                                                                    
     as prescribed by the commissioner in regulation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section  8. Amends  AS  41.15.70.  Disposal of  burning                                                                    
     materials to read  "may not discard...burning materials                                                                    
     on  forested land."  Repeals language  on  the type  of                                                                    
     violation  this   offense  would   be  and   relies  on                                                                    
     amendments in Section  13 of this bill  that provides a                                                                    
     new range  of violations.  It also removes  a reference                                                                    
     to  the  "fire  season"  as the  period  of  time  this                                                                    
     section applies  and removes a reference  to "public or                                                                    
     private land".                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section  9. Amends  AS 41.15.090.  Building or  leaving                                                                    
     fires. To read  " ... may not start a  fire ... without                                                                    
     first clearing the  ground." The type of  offense for a                                                                    
     violation of  this section is  removed and relies  on a                                                                    
     new section to establish types of violations.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Sections  10.  Amends  AS 41.15.090  by  adding  a  new                                                                    
     subsection (b)  A person who  starts a fire in  or near                                                                    
     forested  land may  not leave  the fire  before totally                                                                    
     extinguishing  the  fire.  This change  makes  it  very                                                                    
     clear  that leaving  a fire  unattended will  result in                                                                    
     consequences.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section  11.  Clarifies   AS  41.15.100  Setting  fires                                                                    
     without consent.  Updates language  to "may not  set on                                                                    
     fire  forested   land  ...  "  to   make  this  section                                                                    
     consistent  with terminology  and intent.  The type  of                                                                    
     offense  for a  violation of  this section  is repealed                                                                    
     and  relies on  a  new section  to  establish types  of                                                                    
     violations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12. Amends AS  41.15.110 Uncontrolled spread of                                                                    
     fire; leaving  a fire unattended by  repealing the type                                                                    
     of offense for  a violation of this  section and relies                                                                    
     on  a new  section  to establish  types of  violations.                                                                    
     [The bail schedule]                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection  (b)   has  verbiage  change  to   shall,  a                                                                    
     positive  action  as  opposed to  the  deleted  current                                                                    
     language "who  neglects to." New  language is  added to                                                                    
     make  it clear  that  a  person may  not  leave a  fire                                                                    
     unattended and the  type of offense for  a violation of                                                                    
     this section is removed and  relies on a new section to                                                                    
     establish types of violations.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (c)  updates terminology and makes  it clear                                                                    
     in any criminal action  brought under this section that                                                                    
     the escape  of a fire  may be evidence that  the person                                                                    
     acted  knowingly.  This   change  helps  define  mental                                                                    
     state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 13.  Amends AS 41.15.120 by  including the term                                                                    
     investigate as one of the  criteria for when an officer                                                                    
     or employee  of the United  States or the state  who is                                                                    
     authorized  to prevent  and  suppress  fire requests  a                                                                    
     person to  assist with such  efforts. It also  adds the                                                                    
     word shall as  opposed to "fails to"  in determining if                                                                    
     a person  is in violation  of the statute. The  type of                                                                    
     offense for a violation of  this section is removed and                                                                    
     relies  on   a  new  section  to   establish  types  of                                                                    
     violations.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section  14. Amends  AS 41.15.130  Backfires. Adds  the                                                                    
     terminology  and  burnouts  to allow  fire  suppression                                                                    
     activity as "directed by an  officer or employee of the                                                                    
     U.S.  or state  who is  authorized ...  " and  makes it                                                                    
     clear  that AS  41.15.045 (Civil  immunity) applies  to                                                                    
     the activities under this section.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section  15.  Repeals  and  reenacts  AS  41.15.140  to                                                                    
     establish  a   range  of  violations  and   fines  that                                                                    
     increase  with the  seriousness  of  the offense.  This                                                                    
     section also links to the  criminal statutes to improve                                                                    
     the understanding  and consistency  between enforcement                                                                    
     agencies and the courts.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection  (a) makes  it clear  that  if AS  41.15.150                                                                    
     applies,  a felony  charge, the  following sections  do                                                                    
     not apply.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection  (a)(l) establishes  a  class A  misdemeanor                                                                    
     offense for  violations of AS 41.15.010-  41.15.130 for                                                                    
     persons who knowingly violate this section.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection   (a)(2)  establishes   a  fine   amount  in                                                                    
     accordance with AS 12.55                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section  16. Amends  AS 41.15.150  to provide  specific                                                                    
     criteria for  criminal burning in  the first  degree if                                                                    
     (a)(l)  the person  violates AS  41.15.155,  and (2)  a                                                                    
     provision  of 41.15.010  -  41.15.130  or a  regulation                                                                    
     adopted under AS 41.15.010 - 41.15.130.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection  (b) provides  for a  class B  felony if  in                                                                    
     violation  of subsection  (a) of  this  section and  is                                                                    
     punishable as  provided in AS 12.55  the Sentencing and                                                                    
     Probation Chapter of Title 12.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section  17.  Amends  AS  41.15.150  by  adding  a  new                                                                    
     section  to  provide  specific  criteria  for  criminal                                                                    
     burning  in  the second  degree  if  the person  (a)(l)                                                                    
     knowingly sets  a fire,  (2) with  criminal negligence,                                                                    
     the person  (a) permits the  fire to spread  beyond the                                                                    
     person's control  or (b)fails to prevent  the fire from                                                                    
     spreading to forested land  or other flammable material                                                                    
     and (3)  as a result,  the fire burns forested  land or                                                                    
     other  flammable material  located or  growing on  land                                                                    
     that  is  not owned,  possessed  or  controlled by  the                                                                    
     person                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection  (b) provides  for a  class C  felony if  in                                                                    
     violation  of subsection  (a) of  this  section and  is                                                                    
     punishable as  provided in AS 12.55  the Sentencing and                                                                    
     Probation Chapter of Title 12.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (d)  provides for an upgrading  violation to                                                                    
     a class B felony if the  initial setting of the fire is                                                                    
     in  violation   of  AS  41.15.010  -   41.15.130  or  a                                                                    
     regulation adopted under AS 41.15.010 - 41.15.130.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Section  18. Amends  AS 41.150.160.  Double damages  in                                                                    
     civil actions  to clarify applicable statutes  for this                                                                    
     provision.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Section 19.  Amends AS 41.15.170  to add  paragraph (5)                                                                    
     "knowingly" which  has the meaning in  AS 11.81.900 and                                                                    
     adds paragraph  (6) "recklessly" which has  the meaning                                                                    
     given in AS 11.81.900.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 20.  Amends AS  41.15.950 to  add (b)(4)  a new                                                                    
     subsection  to  provide  clear  authority  to  issue  a                                                                    
     citation to  a person  who violates  a provision  of AS                                                                    
     41.15.010  - 41.15.170  or a  regulation adopted  under                                                                    
     this chapter.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 21.  Adds a new section  AS 41.15.960 directing                                                                    
     the  supreme court  to establish  a  bail schedule  for                                                                    
     violations of statute specified in this bill.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Section 22.  Repeals AS 41.15.080  which was  a section                                                                    
     on equipment and notice requirement  for operators of a                                                                    
     conveyance  on or  above forested  land to  be equipped                                                                    
     with  a   receptacle  for   the  disposal   of  burning                                                                    
     material, shall post or display  a copy of AS 41.15.050                                                                    
     -   .080  and   41.15.140  in   a  conspicuous   place.                                                                    
     Additionally,  an operator  of  a  milling, logging  or                                                                    
     commercial  operation shall  also  post  and display  a                                                                    
     copy of  the statute per  the previous notation  and if                                                                    
     found  in violation  of this  section, is  guilty of  a                                                                    
     misdemeanor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section 23. Amends  the uncodified law of  the State of                                                                    
     Alaska  by adding  a new  section to  read: TRANSITION:                                                                    
     REGULATIONS.  The Department  of Natural  Resources may                                                                    
     adopt  regulation necessary  to  implement the  changes                                                                    
     made by this Act. The  regulations take effect under AS                                                                    
     44.62  (Administrative Procedure  Act), but  not before                                                                    
     the  effective  date  of the  law  implemented  by  the                                                                    
     regulation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Section 24. Provides courts 120  days to establish bail                                                                    
     schedule required by Section 21.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Section 25. Sections 23 and  24 take effect immediately                                                                    
     under AS 01.10.070 (c)                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 26. Except as provided  in Section 25, this Act                                                                    
     takes effect July 151, 2018.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:47:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL asked Mr. Maisch for an explanation of the bail                                                                   
schedule.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH  explained that the  bail schedule will be  similar to                                                               
traffic tickets  and the  types of offenses  one can  receive for                                                               
violations.  It  is established  in  regulation  and the  supreme                                                               
court will approve  it to ensure consistency of  fine amounts for                                                               
different offenses.  Importantly, the bill also  crosslinks Title                                                               
41, the natural  resources statutes, with Title  11, the criminal                                                               
code. Previously  it was difficult  for state  troopers, district                                                               
attorneys, and  others to understand  and enforce the  fire code.                                                               
The law  establishes a misdemeanor  A offense  and class B  and C                                                               
felonies. The  tiered structure  is based  on the  seriousness of                                                               
the offense.  Previously there was  just one  unclassified felony                                                               
offense and one misdemeanor offense.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  offered his understanding  that a  criminal charge                                                               
would not relieve the civil liability.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH  said that's correct. Depending  on the circumstances,                                                               
there can be both a civil and criminal process.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:50:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  noted the individuals  from the Department  of Law                                                               
who were  available to  answer questions. He  asked Ms.  Meade to                                                               
discuss the bail schedule and proposed regulations.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:51:19 AM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel,  Administrative  Office,  Alaska                                                               
Court System,  Anchorage, Alaska, explained that  a bail schedule                                                               
allows somebody  to deal with  their offense without  a mandatory                                                               
court  appearance.  The provision  in  Section  21 instructs  the                                                               
court  to  create  a  schedule   of  the  amount  of  the  fines.                                                               
Typically,  the  court's  administrative office  meets  with  the                                                               
agency with expertise  to establish the amounts of  the fines and                                                               
that draft  is presented to  the supreme court for  approval. The                                                               
citizen who receives a citation doesn't  need to show up in court                                                               
to pay the fine unless they dispute the charge.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked the definition of forested land.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. SALAGUIT read the definition in Sec. 41.15.170.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if that includes a backyard.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH said yes; it  includes anything that is vegetative and                                                               
combustible  under the  right  circumstances.  The definition  is                                                               
purposefully  broad because  it's  difficult  to anticipate  what                                                               
might be  a flammable vegetative  material. For example,  a spark                                                               
from a  lawnmower can and  has ignited  the white fluff  in aspen                                                               
tree seed pods.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   reviewed  the   language  in   Section  3                                                               
regarding the  right of entry  to control and suppress  fires. He                                                               
asked if the commissioner or  authorized agent could order people                                                               
in  the Anchorage  Hillside  area  to chop  down  their trees  to                                                               
prevent fires or  order them to clean up debris  that could cause                                                               
a fire.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MAISCH said  no, but  they  would address  that through  the                                                               
Firewise Program.  Section 3 allows  the Division of  Forestry to                                                               
enter a  property to prevent,  suppress, and  investigate reports                                                               
of smoke.  Investigate is a  key term because  firefighters would                                                               
enter  property to  look for  the  cause and  origin of  reported                                                               
smoke.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  Section 3  allows an  authorized                                                               
agent of the  commissioner or an officer to enter  a property and                                                               
tell the homeowner  to chop down their black  spruce trees and/or                                                               
do it themselves for the purpose to preventing a fire.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH said no.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   read  the  language  in   Section  3  and                                                               
questioned that  it doesn't give  the commissioner  or authorized                                                               
agent the authority to tell a  homeowner they needed to chop down                                                               
their trees to prevent a wildfire and then do it.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH said it would depend  on context. They could chop down                                                               
trees to  prevent a fire  in progress from spreading.  They could                                                               
not chop down someone's trees as a fire prevention measure                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said the language  in Section 3 does not say                                                               
it  has to  be an  encroaching fire.  He asked  where there  is a                                                               
provision that limits the authority to an encroaching fire.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:59:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL said  he  believes the  title  to Sec.  41.15.040,                                                               
Right  to entry  to  control  and suppress  fires,  would be  the                                                               
controlling factor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH agreed  and pointed out that farther along  in .040 it                                                               
specifically   talks    about   "preventing,    controlling,   or                                                               
suppressing a fire or destructive  agent." The context of Section                                                               
3  is  that  an  emergency  must  exist  for  someone  to  remove                                                               
vegetative material.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  he was  trying to  establish a  clear                                                               
record because  the language is  loose. He reviewed  the language                                                               
in Section 8,  asked how  discard  is defined, and  if shooting a                                                               
firecracker in your backyard would violate the section.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH  said the  definition is  broad and  includes anything                                                               
that leaves  your hand and goes  into forested land and  causes a                                                               
fire.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  observed that the language  doesn't explicitly say                                                               
causes a fire.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAISCH said  they would not be investigating  unless they had                                                               
a  report from  a  citizen that  someone  was lighting  fireworks                                                               
during a period  when a burn closure was in  place. That would be                                                               
a  criminal offense  even if  it didn't  cause a  fire. A  person                                                               
would  not be  cited if  they  discarded fireworks  that did  not                                                               
cause a fire.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said he reads  Section 8 to mean  you can't                                                               
shoot a firecracker anywhere in the state on forested land.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:01:40 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. MAISCH said he was  changing his answer. Someone who discards                                                               
a firework  during fire season  could be  cited, but it  would be                                                               
unlikely unless it started a  fire. He added that municipal codes                                                               
are  often  more  restrictive  than  the  state  fire  codes  and                                                               
fireworks  is  a  very  specific  cause  of  fire.  From  a  fire                                                               
prevention standpoint,  they would recommend not  using fireworks                                                               
anytime during fire season.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he reads  Section 8 to broadly restrict                                                               
the  use  of fireworks  at  any  time  because forested  land  is                                                               
defined as  any land  that has  vegetative material.  He reviewed                                                               
the language  in Section 9  and asked what  clearing  the ground                                                                
entails and how immediately around is defined.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.   MAISCH  said   their  education   materials  provide   that                                                               
information.  Clearing   the  ground  entails   removing  organic                                                               
material down to  the mineral layer. The  recommended distance to                                                               
clear  depends  on  the  size  of  the  fire.  Their  educational                                                               
material  also  covers that.  He  suggested  that any  continuing                                                               
questions on  Section 8  could be directed  to the  Department of                                                               
Law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL  deferred  further  questions  until  the  meeting                                                               
tomorrow.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:05:49 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR COGHILL held HB 355 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 355 - Letter of Support - Alaska Fire Chiefs.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 355
HB 355 - Letter of Support - Kenai Peninsula Borough.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 355
HB 355 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 355
HB 355 - Sectional Summary (ver. O).PDF SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 355
HB 355 - Letter of Support - DOF.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 355
HB 355 - Supporting Document - DOF One-Pager.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 355
HB 170 - Supporting Document - NASAA.PDF SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 170
HB 170 - Supporting Document - ANCSA.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 170
HB 170 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 170
HB 170 - Supporting Document - Repealers.pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 170
HB 170 - Summary of Changes (ver. O to ver. R).PDF SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 170
CS for HB 307 - Version U.PDF SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 307
HB 307 - Sectional Summary (ver. U).pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 307
HB 307 - Explanation of Changes (ver. J to ver. U).pdf SJUD 4/17/2018 9:00:00 AM
HB 307