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Annual prescribed burn season nears at Arnold AFB

A prescribed fire burns at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, March 2021. This spring, the natural resources staff at Arnold Air Force Base will work with the Air Force Wildland Fire Branch to conduct prescribed fires, or controlled burns, across Arnold. Prescribed fire allows land managers to alter and improve the native ecosystems without utilizing more costly methods such as mulching, mowing and herbicide applications. (Courtesy photo by Brenton Berlin)

The Arnold Air Force Base Natural Resources Management Team will soon begin prescribed fire operations.

To support the Air Force’s mission at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, headquartered at Arnold AFB, prescribed fire will be utilized to help maintain plant communities in such a way that they continue to provide all the benefits that we have come to enjoy.

Although the fires do not start until March and, more specifically, are set to begin during the first weekend of the month, the Natural Resources Management Team has spent several months planning the details. Each burn has a purpose and presents unique challenges.

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Most prescribed fire operations at Arnold occur during March and April when both weather and fuel conditions are generally conducive to accomplishing management goals.

Wildfire protection, noise attenuation, ecosystem development, invasive species control and wildlife habitat improvement are some of the reasons considered when selecting units to burn.

The control element of each burn comes from the team matching the area to burn with the weather parameters that will give the best results. Manipulating the intensity of the fire and the dispersal of the smoke are paramount in achieving ecological goals while mitigating unwanted impacts to the surrounding community.

For more information, call 931-454-3230.

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Crews monitor a previous prescribed fire, or controlled burn, at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, in spring 2021. This spring, the natural resources staff at Arnold Air Force Base will work with the Air Force Wildland Fire Branch to conduct prescribed fires across Arnold. Prescribed fire allows land managers to alter and improve the native ecosystems without utilizing more costly methods such as mulching, mowing and herbicide applications. (Courtesy photo by Brenton Berlin)

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