Homeless camp fire sends flames skyward along Chester Greenbelt

Smoke rises from the fire in the Chester Creek greenbelt near the Ben Boeke Arena, around 16th Ave. in Anchorage on Sunday afternoon. Credit: Facebook users.

A fire in a greenbelt near the Ben Boeke Arena was extinguished by Anchorage Fire Department crews after 4 pm on Sunday.

Several tents that make up a homeless encampment around 16th Avenue went up in flames in what fire officials characterized as a medium-sized fire whose cause is undetermined. The fire was quickly extinguished once firefighters reached the scene. The area is near several populated neighborhoods.

As nights grow colder and darker, homeless camps in the greenbelts of Anchorage are seeing more camp fires built by people trying to keep warm, but this is the first homeless camp fire of the season to require intervention. The fire resulted in no known injuries.


  1. Deja view…how many homeless aka vagrant camps do we need around our city? 5 acres in 3rd; railroad hill; midtown Lowe’s/Home Depot…c’mon! Who thinks these folks are going voluntarily into Asssmbly purchased properties? I don’t THINK so…

  2. Declare a state of emergency and pull all of the homeless out of the woods. Triage them and figure out the proper judicial proceedings under martial law. Back in the woods is not an answer

      • This is how Texas and Florida are dealing with their border problems. Bus them to sanctuary cities/states/counties. We’ve heard rumors that Anchorage homeless are being driven out to Palmer, I assume to punish us for being conservative. Stir them around like a pot of Brunswick Stew simmering on the fire. If they’re flown to California, it seems unlikely that many will return. At this point, an independent study to determine efficiency seems to be more efficient than trying to get government (at any level) to deal with the problem. A private group handing out one-way tickets to Disneyland might work best.

        • There have been many reports of a certain religious charity bussing bums and dropping them off in Palmer. You look around and realize these ” city bums” aren’t “our bums”. People talk about Democrats wanting open borders and such but no one talks about the “sainted charity” that brings in illegals and give them housing and more money than some of us get from actually working for a living.

  3. If there was any real compassion for the homeless, the city would work hard to get them off drugs and back into a productive life.

    But the left’s version of compassion is to allow them to live in filth, stoned, and living lives of complete degradation. While making money off of them.

      • It is THE reason they are there. Except for the mentally ill. Many programs available to help those who want to be sober and find housing. They don’t want the accountability.

      • “Being stoned is the least of their worries…….”
        They don’t have any worries. They’ve given up. They’re stoned. Surrendered to their altered condition. No worries, but H U G E problems……..left for the rest of us to deal with. And our inability to effectively deal with that ends up exasperating their problems. In the end, both individually and collectively, they will end up sacrificed to their surrender, and society will degrade into deeper sacrifice of its citizens. I certainly can’t fix it. Enjoy your stoned neighbors, and be thankful for a responsive fire department.

  4. This homeless issue here in Anchorage costs us property taxpayers how much?
    Our true obligation as taxpayers to the homeless is exactly what and why is it our burden?
    With a growing and seemingly out-of-control homeless issue, what exactly does “success” look like and are City officials working towards a successful resolution or, just exacerbating the problem?
    Why should us taxpayers continue to accept and/or support the grossly sub-standard performance from City officials.

  5. These aren’t the Homeless the Anchorage Assembly likes to talk about. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

  6. I wouldn’t want to live on Hillside. If a fire started there, most are doomed as the people fleeing and those heading up hill to “rescue” their loved ones will ultimately wreck and block the road.

    IF I lived on Hillside and a major fire broke out in the summer, I would head up to the top of the mountain via 4-wheeler or snowmachine (yes in summer) and get on the other side where fresh air would be available. The hot air rising across hillside would cause a draft from Cook Inlet and create a terrible firestorm.

  7. Don’t worry the homeless property taxes will pay for it. I think the assembly members should foot the bill also as they are the reason for the fire. Also this sets a policy that we all can dump our trash by the road side or in the parks and have open fires where ever we want. If there are no consequences for their actions, then the law-abiding public should be able to do the same thing that the homeless are getting away with.

  8. Los Anchorage does add a nice flair to it.
    It could be characterized as a sleepy little town where they have to shoot the black bears to keep the homeless safe while wallering in their piles of garbage.

    After a group of friends from Australia toured most of Alaska they were very impressed with the natural beauty however they werent so impressed after spending a few days downtown Anchorage.
    The Ladies in the group werent too fond of navigating around the drunks passed out in the doorways on 4th avenue.
    They said “the homeless living on the sidewalks makes Anchorage look like Sleeping Ladies big hairy armpit”
    My response was “stick around and I will introduce you to the “Assembly in control”.
    They had enough and took an earlier flight to escape before something nefarious happened.

  9. Jeff, if you’re not a true Alaskan, but a left wing transplant from the Bay Area and come to Alaska to get a government job and bring your sh*tty cultural values with you,…… there are no consequences in their minds.

    • They should all be in Zaletel’s neighborhood. All of them. Look at the right of way on the east side of Seward Highway just north of Northern Lights. It is a public health toxic waste dump. Or the woods between Lions Park and Glenn Highway in east Mountain View. Some “Arts District”.

      • They should be put into Constant’s backyard, LaFrance should have tents decorating her street, and let’s not forget Weddleton, that pretend “conservative voice” voted for every measure that took away from the taxpayers to give to the homeless.
        Assembly members past and present that put the wants of the homeless before the needs of the taxpayers should show us all how it is done.

  10. Maybe by spring the camps will finally manage to set off the hillside on a dry, windy day. The rest of us can’t even get a burn permit under any condition. We would be fined if we were to burn leaves in a controlled area of our own property with a garden hose at the ready. Don’t believe it? Try to get a burn permit.

  11. Canadian cities have fire pit amenities, picnic tables, bathrooms showers, and camping sites have trash removal several times daily and are tended to several times daily. People tend to follow the pleasant rules. This is why I suggested picnic amenities and some sort of payment from those visiting the amenities perhaps on a sliding fee. Instead of hate, make things better and persistently regulated.

    • Perhaps you should move to Canada then since you like lots of regulations and how Canada does things. Or, spend your own personal money on all the amenities you want. You could even open your own private homeless campgrounds with amenities business with your own money.

    • Many municipalities nationwide charge a very nominal fee for use of such things.

      Since they (the muni in question) have the additional responsibility of cleaning someone else’s mess up, it’s a way to put the fiscal onus on the users of the facility.

      The problem with your premise is Canadians follow rules too closely. The people you’re thinking of don’t follow rules at all.

      You can impose societal norms on people who refuse to accept them.

    • The thing about communists is it shows only one side, the good of its community. Canada also has a drug problem and its homeless and teens or young adults are just as disrespectful of public property. You don’t live there so you don’t know the real story. Canada is just as messed up as America.

    • People tend to follow….

      Not the stalwart citizens who are the focus of this article. They have made a conscious decision to live outside of societal parameters. They have shunned all personal accountability.
      Canada also provides heroin injection sites on the taxpayer dime. Heroin is illegal, BUT if it magically appears in these locations some government functionary will provide brand spanking new syringes and other equipment and narcan if you finally hit the jackpot and have the dose of a lifetime.
      PS When I camp in a public campground, I am expected to pay the full fare. Why should other people not just because they refuse to participate in society?

  12. Well, it might be safer to built fire pits and provide garbage removal several times a day. Make them register for each night and pay. Something reasonable. Some waitresses etc. have lost jobs in covid drama and can’t get back on their feet. The businesses were shut down by the assembly practicing medicine without licenses in Anchorage..

    • Those people aren’t living like drunken hobos in their own squalor. A!,Get out and have a look at the folks living the wild life.
      An out of work waitress is now unemployed for about 23 seconds, they qualify for housing.
      We are talking here about CAREER PUBLIC INEBRIATES.

      These ARE NOT people scrambling to save a security deposit.

    • The city actually did this (poorly) with the Centennial Park campground last year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of wildfire or bear conflict, and it certainly doesn’t eliminate the Propaganda/Social/Ideological War, but it could help contain the problem………until the courts ruled that you can’t hold them in concentration camps.
      I think free one-way tickets to destinations as far away as possible (thereby reducing the return rate) might be the most efficient response to this manufactured crisis. It seems to be working well for Texas and Florida bussing illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities/counties/states.

      • Oregon is talking about giving the hobo class a thousand bucks a month. I will use air miles to send the two bums with the most encounters with the police or CSP. OR use an Air Guard cargo plane on a training run.

    • Do you have the names and contact information for those service personnel? (Waitresses)
      I know of several restaurant owners that are desperate for help, even marginal help is better than the nothing they have now. Their current staff is so sick of pulling double shifts they are getting ready to quit.
      Or, are you just pulling that “they were only looting to buy bread for their starving families” BS?

  13. Meanwhile they keep sending bus loads of anchorage homeless people to the valley on the taxpayers dime. This is a pervasive parasite which is now affecting multiple communities.

      • And cigarettes, sure. That explains the used taxpayer provided syringes laying about. But I agree that there is alcohol as well. These are not the bums of the past, or even close. Many were finally kicked out of their parents house for not wanting to work and doing drugs all day.

  14. Adding fire pits is value added to the property. The park overnighter must also sign in. They must deliver their rubbish to receptacles on a schedule even if they don’t want to do it. This is a business plan also in private business in the US lower 48. The regulation is better than no regulation in these cases. The perpetual,, daily garbage collection creates jobs. Avoiding “doing this” increases undesired results as stated above. It is mere stupid laziness not to perform this public work. Canada does a very good job of this everywhere but BC where drug use is more evident.

  15. Mmmmmm, good thing the assembly put the kibosh on mayor bronsons navigation center, with that thing we were going to have bums “in some tent in the woods”. Good grief.

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