Burning operations planned for military training lands in Interior Alaska to reduce wildfire threat

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 eipsen@blm.gov.

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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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