BLM Alaska Fire Service, U.S. Army To Burn Debris Piles Near Delta Junction

Graphic of burn piles on military lands.Oct. 28, 2016 – Starting as early as Nov. 3, the BLM Alaska Fire Service and U.S. Army Alaska will be burning piles of woody debris created this summer during hazardous fuels reduction projects in the Donnelly Training Area (DTA) and Gerstle River Training Area (GRTA) south of Delta Junction. Burning operations may start as early Nov. 3 and will continue, as conditions allow, until Nov. 30.

Some of the piles are located in the GRTA approximately 20 miles southeast of Delta Junction. In the DTA, the piles are scattered throughout areas on both sides of the Richardson Highway and within two miles of Delta Junction. These piles were created during hazardous fuels reduction projects conducted by U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) hand crews to remove dead and decaying vegetation and black spruce in an effort to reduce the chances of a wildfire on military lands.

The piles will be ignited when weather conditions are favorable and winds are predicted to direct the smoke away from populated areas. The BLM AFS and USARAK only conduct prescribed fires when precise weather conditions and site prescriptions are met and an approved burn plan is in place that includes a burn permit approved by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC).

The BLM AFS and USARAK are working with the ADEC and the National Weather Service to monitor smoke conditions and air quality during the planning phase to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal policies and regulations governing air quality.

For more information about the prescribed fire on USARAK lands, contact the BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Office at (907)356-5510, or the Upper Yukon-Tanana Dispatch Center at (907)356-5554.

About BLM Alaska Fire Service

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (AFS) located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, provides wildland fire suppression services for over 244 million acres of Department of the Interior and Native Corporation Lands in Alaska. In addition, AFS has other statewide responsibilities that include: interpretation of fire management policy; oversight of the BLM Alaska Aviation program; fuels management projects; and operating and maintaining advanced communication and computer systems such as the Alaska Lightning Detection System. AFS also maintains a National Incident Support Cache with a $10 million inventory. The Alaska Fire Service provides wildland fire suppression services for America’s “Last Frontier” on an interagency basis with the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Military in Alaska.

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