Controlled burns are scheduled soon on part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation.
DOE’s Oak Ridge Office said it will start controlled burns of woodland areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation that are within the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement East Tract and Parcel ED-6 along North Boundary Road and Wisconsin Avenue in west Oak Ridge.
“Firebreak installation activities supporting these burns will begin in the near future, with ignitions taking place as soon thereafter as weather conditions permit and continuing through December 2018,” a press release said.
The planned burns are part of a collaborative effort between DOE, TWRA, and the Oak Ridge Fire Department to reduce wildfire fuel loading within the Oak Ridge Reservation’s wild land/urban interface zone, the press release said.
“It is anticipated the burns will also serve to improve wildlife habitat, aid establishment of native plants and control of invasive plant species, and increase viewing opportunities of these natural resources from established greenway trails,” the release said.
The burns are conducted and overseen by Tennessee Division of Forestry personnel who maintain fire control equipment, certified burn managers, and trained personnel at the burn area. ORFD will patrol the DOE boundary roads adjacent to residential areas while personnel with TWRA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Natural Resources Management Program will monitor the progress of the burn.
Smoke may be detectible in the vicinity of Westwood, Oak Hill Estates, and Southwood Subdivisions during the burns, the press release said.
The public is advised that as a safety precaution use of the North Boundary Trail network and related parking areas will be restricted during the operations.
“Assessments of additional Reservation interface areas are ongoing and may lead to similar proactive site specific measures,” the press release said.
For more information, contact the DOE-ORO Public Affairs Office at (865) 576-0885.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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