By U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsMay 15, 2015
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Army officials announced May 13 was the last day of active burning for the annual prescribed burn, here, at the training range complex.
According to Chief Scotty Freeman, Fire Division chief, Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, officials will not be igniting any additional areas, and will now be shifting focus to mop-up operations and monitoring for any remaining hot spots.
The prescribed burn, which began May 11, was conducted as a proactive safety measure to remove highly flammable guinea grass and other vegetation on the range. If left unchecked, these grasses become large fuel sources for wildfires that can be difficult to contain and threaten area resources.
"This was the most successful prescribed burn of that area in the seven years that I've served here as fire chief," Freeman said, adding that there was no damage to archaeological or cultural sites, nor to threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
Army fire officials were able to burn approximately 75 percent of the planned 1,200 acres. The other 25 percent contained vegetation that was too difficult to ignite or too low in fuels.
The fire will be officially called "out" 72 hours after the last hot spot is confirmed extinguished. No fires occurred outside of the designated burn areas.
The burn effort was supported by multiple personnel from USAG-HI, the Federal Fire Department, the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, the 25th Infantry Division, and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, to include firefighters, aviators, engineers, natural and cultural resources specialists, explosive ordnance disposal personnel, and law enforcement personnel.
The Army also coordinated the effort with the Hawaii State Department of Health's Clean Air Branch and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who both reviewed and approved the prescribed burn plan.