Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

The Denali Borough is now offering a free brush collection program to help mitigate the threat of wildfires. Local residents can drop off brush and woody debris at three locations around the borough, for free. This is good news for homeowners who have not had a reasonable option for disposing of brush in the past.

“It’s always been an issue,” said Chris Noel, emergency planning and projects coordinator. “People kept asking the last few years.”

So the borough found a way to address the issue.

Now, local residents can drop off brush and woody debris at three sites: the Healy transfer station at Milepost 253 Parks Highway, the borough landfill at Milepost 282.5 Parks Highway and adjacent to the Cantwell transfer station at Milepost 213 Parks Highway.

In Cantwell, the brush will be deposited south of the gated area. The area is still being leveled out and will eventually be marked by traffic cones.

In late August, the borough will hire a contractor to operate a chipper and turn the brush into wood chips. Those chips will then be available, free of charge, to local residents on a first-come, first-served basis. Chips can be used for gardening, composting, trail pathways, mulching garden beds, trees and other landscaping needs.

Ideally, this will help residents who are clearing around their homes and businesses for fire protection. Construction debris and other waste will not be accepted. Bring only clean yard and wood waste.

For hours of operation of each facility, see

Address Systems

It will be up to the Denali Borough Assembly to choose an address system for borough residences, after the Denali Planning Commission decided it would support either of the two final options.

Those options will be presented at the July 10 assembly meeting in Cantwell.

“Depending on what the assembly says, we would introduce a code ordinance, to include the new system in code,” Chris Noel said.

The project to provide addresses came about at the request of emergency responders. The intended result is to improve emergency response to fire and ambulance calls, by providing dispatchers with a specific address for their destination.

An added benefit, according to the borough, is the ability for delivery services to find a specific house and drop off packages. Any address system would be shared with the U.S. Postal Service.

It would be up to residents to mark their own homes. Addresses would only be shared with legitimate emergency services and public utilities, according to the borough. 

Artist Cabin

The McKinley Chalet Resort’s Artisan in Residence Cabin is open for visitors.

This week’s artist, now through July 3, is Susan Joy Share. This program enlists Alaska artists to spend about a week at Denali, working at the cabin 5-9 p.m. daily. The cabin is located at Denali Square, down the hill behind the McKinley Chalet lobby.

Visitors are invited to visit with the artists and to watch them create their artwork.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.