Starting today, the Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (BLM AFS) and U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) will implement multiple prescribed fires in the Yukon Training Area located east of Eielson Air Force Base and the Small Arms Complex immediately east of Fairbanks.
The schedule for locations and start dates are as follows:
• Moose Creek Project Area (MCPA) 20 miles east of Fairbanks started today and could continue through May 31. This includes the Husky Drop Zone five miles northwest of the MCPA.
• Small Arms Complex immediately east of Fairbanks on the south side of the Richardson Highway starts as early as Wednesday and could continuine through May 24.
• Stuart Creek Impact Area east of Eielson Air Force Base may start as early as Friday and continue through to May 27.
The prescribed fire operations will remove dead grass on training ranges for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Removing the dead grass now will decrease fire danger around military training targets used during the summer. The result will be green grass that has reduced flammability.
Trained personnel will monitor the burn areas throughout the prescribed fire period until declaring the fires out.
The grass will be ignited when weather conditions are favorable and winds are predicted to direct the smoke away from populated areas. Smoke from the Stuart Creek Impact Area may be visible from the Chena Hot Springs Road, Richardson Highway and adjacent communities. Smoke from the Moose Creek Project may be visible to people traveling the Richardson Highway near Eielson Air Force Base, people on base and neighboring communities. Smoke from the Small Arms Complex may be visible to people traveling the Richardson Highway near the Badger Road intersection.
The BLM AFS and USARAK only conduct prescribed fires when 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. These prescribed fires fall well outside the Fairbanks North Star Borough air quality control program’s nonattainment time frame.
For more information contact the Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Office at (907) 356-5511, or the Upper Yukon-Tanana Dispatch Center at (907) 356-5554.