Bureau of Land Management partners with military to prevent wildfires

Published: May. 13, 2023 at 1:23 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 13, 2023 at 1:30 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began prescribed burn operations at a handful of military shooting ranges across the interior, in an effort to prevent future wildfires.

The prescribed burn operations that began Friday, May 12 are part of an annual operation taking place at the small Arms Complex near Fort Wainwright off of Badger Road. The other prescribed burns are taking place at a shooting range near Fort Greely by Delta Junction and another range near Eielson Air Force Base.

These burns are done annually to prevent fires caused by munitions. “What we do every year in the spring is we come out and before the green grass grows up, we burn off all the dead grass and that prevents wildfires from happening throughout the summer,” said Tasha Shields, a fire fighter with the Bureau of Land Management. At the Small Arms Complex near Fort Wainwright, over 2000 acres were subject to the burn. BLM has also brought in crews from Nevada to assist in the operations.

These burns are anticipated to be completed between May 12 and May 15, depending on variable weather conditions.