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

Nov. 14, 2017 Update: This prescribed burning of debris piles was suspended indefinitely due to weather conditions – specifically an estimated foot of snow that fell in the Delta and Gerstle River training areas over the weekend. BLM Alaska Fire Service officials will reevaluate the burn plan in the spring when conditions are more conducive to burning.

The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (BLM AFS), in cooperation with the U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK), will be burning piles of woody debris south of Delta Junction starting as early as Monday, Nov. 13. The burning will continue, as conditions allow, until Nov. 30.

The 475 piles targeted for the burn plan are located in the Delta Training Area near the Richardson Highway and the Gerstle River Training Area near the Alaska Highway. These piles were created during hazardous fuels reduction projects conducted by a USARAK range crew last spring 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. Smoke may be visible from Delta Junction and highways. The BLM AFS and USARAK only conduct prescribed fires when weather conditions and site prescriptions are favorable and an approved burn plan is in place that includes a burn permit approved by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC).

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 Fort Wainwright lands, contact the BLM AFS dispatch in Fairbanks at (907)356-5554 or BLM AFS Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at eipsen@blm.gov or (907)356-5510.

Map showing the location of the burn piles south of Delta Junction.

Map showing the location of the burn piles south of Delta Junction. Click here for a PDF version of map:  2017_DTA_piles_overview

 

 

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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