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According to a press release from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Alaska Fire Service (AFS), AFS will be burning woody debris piles beginning today, Feb. 8 and continuing until March 29 in the Donnelly Training Area West. The burning will only be conducted with weather is suitable to prevent fire spread and to meet air quality requirements.

BLM says the approximately 150 piles are primarily composed of cut spruce trees. Fifty of these piles are left from a fuel break constructed in the Donnelly Training Area West by shearing trees close to the ground, which reduces the wildfire hazard while leaving the underlying soil intact. Also targeted for burning are about 100 piles created by thinning a stand of white spruce adjacent to th shear blade line. A total of about 1,150 woody debris piles were created by US Army Alaska range personnel when constructing a 21-mile fuel break stretching from the Delta River to Delta Creek. This firebreak was integral in managing the Oregon Lakes Fire last summer by helping firefighters keep the fire from moving north of Army training lands.

For more information about prescribed fire on the Donnelly Training Area and other U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright lands, contact the BLM AFS Dispatch Center in Fairbanks at (907) 356-5555.

Michael Paschall is the editor and publisher of Delta Wind and can be reached at