Motorists on the Richardson Highway between Fairbanks and North Pole may see smoke from multiple prescribed burns on Fort Wainwright starting as early as tomorrow. As weather conditions permit, the Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service will assist the US Army Alaska in conducting multiple prescribed burns immediately southeast of Fairbanks and six miles west of North Pole. Ignition on the Small Arms Complex on the Fort Wainwright Main Post is planned as early as tomorrow and may continue through June 5, weather permitting.
The purpose of the prescribed fires is to reduce the potential for wildfire and eliminate dried grass build up. Removing the grass now will reduce fire danger during the summer months. The prescribed fires also help to increase training opportunities in support of military readiness. The prescribed fires follow federally approved burn plans and open burn approvals from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Trained personnel will monitor the burn areas during the prescribed fire period until declared out by fire management personnel.
Fire will only be ignited when suitable weather conditions exist and air quality will not be affected. Communities near the prescribed fire areas may see and/or smell smoke, but it is not expected to linger. Diligent coordination with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Weather Service has been conducted and will be ongoing during the prescribed fire period.
For more information contact the Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Office at (907)356-5511.