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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and BLM Fire Ecologists Put Fire to Beneficial Use in Alaska

BLM firefighters lay in a fire line along the edges of a 165-acre prescribed burn in black spruce/aspen forest in the heart of interior Alaska.

Lake: Chena Flood Control Project, Moose Creek Dam, AK

Partners: USACE; Alaska and Bureau of Land Management; Alaska Fire Service

Partnership Type: MOU

Corps POC: Tim Feavel

Story: Prescribed burns are not new to the Chena Flood Control Project in North Pole, Alaska, but 165 acres in standing timber posed a slight twist to the standard 400 acres of brome grass and invading willow fields burned on the floodway every year. The prescribed burn conducted in June of 2003 was part of a cooperative effort between the Corps Project staff and the BLM fire crews to regenerate a portion of the abundant "old and cold" black spruce stands and small pockets of aspen. The intent is to burn deep into the duff layer exposing and warming the mineral soil to encourage regeneration of early seral stages of vegetation including aspen, blueberry, and other shrub species. The burn will create an inviting habitat for moose, bear, and a variety of small mammals and birds including three species of grouse - spruce, rough, and sharptail.

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