The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (BLM AFS), in cooperation with the U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK), will implement prescribed fires in the Donnelly Training Area (DTA) and the Gerstle River Training Area (GRTA) near Delta Junction starting as early as Tuesday, April 17. As weather conditions allow, prescribed burning may continue through May 31 in the DTA, five miles south of Delta Junction, and in the GRTA, 30 miles southeast of town. Trained personnel will monitor the burn areas throughout the prescribed fire period until declaring the fires out.
The prescribed fire operation will remove dead grass and woody debris piles. Removing the dead grass now will decrease fire danger around military training targets used during the summer. Some of the debris piles slated for burning are within GRTA. Debris piles made up of hardwood and spruce trees were created by hand crews to maintain forest health, to improve access within the training areas, and to reduce fire danger on military lands. All usable wood was salvaged.
Fires will be ignited only when favorable weather conditions are present. An approved burn plan is in place includes authorization from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). Smoke may be visible during burning operations from Delta Junction and the Richardson Highway, Alaska Highway and from within the Donnelly Training Area. The BLM AFS and USARAK are working with ADEC and the National Weather Service to monitor smoke conditions during the planning phase to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal policies and regulations governing air quality. These prescribed fires fall well outside the Fairbanks North Star Borough air quality control program’s nonattainment area and time frame.
For more information contact fire information at (907) 356-5511, or the Upper Yukon-Tanana Dispatch Center at (907) 356-5554.