The Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service (BLM AFS) and U.S. Army Alaska (USARAK) will soon implement multiple prescribed fires on military training lands in Interior Alaska. As conditions allow, prescribed burning in the Donnelly Training Area (DTA), Yukon Training Area (YTA), and Fort Wainwright (FWA) may continue throughout the spring.
Prescribed burns are fires that are intentionally set under controlled conditions to reduce hazardous fuels and lower the risk of wildfires that could impact nearby communities, resources, facilities and military training. Removing hazardous fuels during the spring, when conditions are moderated, allows for the greatest degree of control and the lowest risk for negative impacts, such as smoke.
While smoke may be visible from various points in the surrounding communities during prescribed fires, their potential impact on the public is considered at all stages of prescribed fire planning. BLM AFS and USARAK work closely with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Air Quality and the National Weather Service to mitigate potential impacts. There are also procedures in place to halt ignitions if conditions change, including unfavorable wind conditions.
Guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services will be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission among our personnel and the communities we work in.
Prescribed burning is planned at the following locations:
- DTA: Several locations between 25 miles west and 15 miles south of Delta Junction
- YTA: Several locations between 5 miles north and 20 miles east of Eielson Air Force Base
- FWA: Small Arms Complex, immediately southeast of Fairbanks
The exact timing of the prescribed fires will depend on weather conditions. Subsequent press releases specific to each area will provide more precise estimates of the time frames.
For more information, contact BLM Alaska Fire Service Public Affairs Specialist Beth Ipsen at (907)388-2159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.