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Dry weather keeps burn bans in effect for Anchorage and Mat-Su

Burn bans were still in effect Thursday in Anchorage and the Mat-Su, a reflection of nervousness among fire officials about dry conditions.

Temperatures were projected to hit 80 degrees in Mat-Su and between 70 and 80 across Anchorage through Saturday. Forecasters said rain could move in Sunday.

The bans apply to the open burning of debris, burn barrels and lawn burning. Campfires with a diameter of less than 3 feet are allowed but not advised, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry, which suspended burning in the Mat-Su.

"We still have a lot of people out in the woods recreating, with the Fourth of July being in the middle of the week," said Sam Harrel, public information officer for the Alaska Division of Forestry.

The city of Houston, the only place where fireworks sales are legal, has temporarily banned the sale and use of Roman candles and other aerial fireworks.

Dave Percy, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said there was no extreme fire danger in Southcentral Alaska on Thursday, and there wasn't much wind.

But the fire danger will increase in the coming hot days, Percy said.

"If the rain comes in, (fire danger will) crash on Sunday," Percy said.

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