First responders at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport planned to ignite a large supply of gasoline during routine training Wednesday afternoon, with an expected smoke plume visible across much of the city.

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Airport fire crews typically conduct training at a burn pit on the south of the airport, according to a statement from the Anchorage Fire Department, which is “designed specifically to contain fuel in order to conduct controlled training fires.” The fire involves burning 500 gallons of diesel fuel, to simulate airplane fuel.

About 30 firefighters – half the airport fire department’s strength – were participating in the exercise, fighting the fire using trucks rather than on foot. The other half of the department will conduct the same drill, the department’s only live-fire drill of the year, on Thursday.

Residents shouldn’t be concerned about large smoke plumes from the airport Wednesday or Thursday.

Heather Hintze contributed information to this story.

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