A recent state timber sale will ensure the Tok School can keep relying on locally produced wood chips to generate heat and electricity, while reducing hazardous fuels and risk of wildland fires around the community, the Division of Forestry announced Wednesday.

The contract with the Alaska Gateway School District allows for the purchase of the equivalent of nearly 700 cords of firewood for $17,520 in the Tok Hazardous Fuels No. 1 sale, according to the announcement.

“This sale provides a long-term, stable fuel supply for the Tok School biomass facility and demonstrates how well-managed forests can provide economic opportunities and reduce wildfire risk for the community and residents,” Division of Forestry Director Chris Maisch said in the announcement. 

The five-year contract, with an optional one-year extension, covers approximately 75 acres along the outside edge of fuel breaks previously constructed north of Tok. The school will hire a local contractor to harvest and chip wood from about 20 acres a year, generating 50 tons of biomass per acre for the school’s biomass facility, which was built in 2010.