Controlled burns are scheduled on the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation.
“The public should expect to see some smoke from this activity,” a press release said. “However, smoke in this and other areas in the region could also be the result of prescribed burns currently being undertaken by other federal and state agencies.”
DOE will be starting a series of controlled burns of grassland areas on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation on the Three Bend Area off Pump House and Bull Bluff Roads, and other managed grassland areas off Bethel Valley Road and off Highway 58, the press release said.
Beginning this week and continuing through mid-April 2021 as weather permits, controlled burns will take place at:
- Freels Bend fields—up to approximately 284 acres of grassland and scrub;
- Gallaher Bend fields—up to approximately 125 acres of grassland and kudzu;
- Solway Bend fields—up to approximately 62 acres of grassland;
- Hickory Creek Bend woodland—up to approximately 21 acres of forest, grassland, and kudzu;
- Bethel fields—up to approximately 4.8 acres of grassland;
- Delphinium management in Bethel Valley—approximately 3 acres of grassland;
- Clear Springs fields—up to approximately 251 acres of grassland;
- Wheat church vista—approximately 33 acres of grassland;
- Dyllis kudzu control—approximately 48 acres of forest edge, grassland, and kudzu;
- West Borrow kudzu control—approximately 6 acres of forest edge and kudzu; and
- National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Secure Transportation Training Facility—approximately 6 acres of grassland.
These planned burns are part of the DOE’s effort to provide wildlife habitat, encourage growth of native plants, and reduce the risk of wildfires, the press release said. They are conducted and overseen by the Tennessee Division of Forestry personnel who maintain fire control equipment, certified burn managers, and trained personnel at the burn area. During burns, distant smoke may be observed in the Oak Ridge vicinity of Clark Center Park or south of the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education campus and nearby segments of State Routes 95, 58, and 327.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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