By U.S. ArmyMarch 7, 2012
According to Daniel C. Glembot, Fort A.P. Hill fire chief, these prescribed burns help reduce the chance and severity of wildfires and the destruction associated with them.
Wildfires pose a hazard to life, property and the training mission of Fort A.P. Hill, he added. Prescribed burns target areas with accumulated forest fuels, such as dead trees, twigs, leaves and dry grass, thus reducing the chances of a fire igniting.
Additionally, prescribed fire is a proven way to apply a natural process to manage the installation ecosystem and enhance wildlife habitat, according to Larry Capelle of the installation Forestry Branch.
These prescribed burns require long-term planning and coordination between a variety of the installation's directorates to determine what specific weather and site conditions are needed before the burn can be executed. If any of these conditions are not present, the burn will not take place, the fire chief added. In addition, the staff ensures that specially trained forestry and fire department staffs are "on the ready" with the necessary fire extinguishing and control equipment to ensure the public's safety.
But, with careful planning and execution, prescribed burns are a great way to safeguard Fort A.P. Hill's range assets, protect the ecology and provide the best wildlife habitats possible.
Prescribed burning is a seasonal program dictated by ecology, climate, and other considerations. Moreover, this focused season is further limited by weather conditions, Warrior training, and safety considerations. The fall burn season generally runs from Nov. 1 through
mid-December and the spring season runs from Feb. 1 through the end of April.
To advise neighboring residents, the prescribed burns are posted onto the free Caroline Alert notification system. Individuals seeking to receive these notifications must register with Caroline Alert at www.carolinealert.com to obtain an account, then select the group titled, "Fort A.P. Hill Public Notices and Information -- General Public Notices and Information for Fort A.P. Hill.
In addition, prescribed burn notices and other news and information is available on the Fort A.P. Hill website at www.army.mil/aphill and social media sites to include Facebook at www.facebook.com/FtAPHill and Twitter at twitter.com/fort_aphill