JBER to begin controlled burns starting May 20

  • Published
  • 673d ABW / PA

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Fire and Emergency Services, 11th Airborne Division, and the Air Force Wildland Fire Branch JBER Wildland Support Module will conduct multiple controlled burns on JBER training lands beginning May 20.

As conditions allow, prescribed burning will take place on both Richardson Training Area North and South ranges until all units are complete or weather conditions degrade. The RTA North is between Knik Arm and the Glenn Highway, northwest of Eagle River and south of Birchwood Airport. RTA South ranges are east of Glenn Highway between Muldoon and Eagle River.

Prescribed burns are fires 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 during prescribed fires from various points along the Glenn Highway in Anchorage, Eagle River and the Matanuska Valley, their potential impact on the public is considered at all stages of prescribed fire planning. JBER wildland fire mitigation crews work closely with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Air Quality and the National Weather Service to mitigate potential impacts. Procedures are in place to halt ignitions if unfavorable conditions develop. 

The exact timing of the prescribed fires will depend on weather conditions and range availability. 

All prescribed burns are executed under ADEC Open Burn Approval # AQ1438OBR09.

Members of the media are invited to attend the first day of controlled burns on May 20; time will be dependent on weather conditions the morning of the event. Please RSVP no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, May 19 by calling the 673d Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office, Media Section, at (907) 551-8995 or emailing jber.pa.mediaops@us.af.mil with full contact information for event notification purposes.