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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (907)356-5510.