Anchorage and Mat-Su residents should expect to see smoke from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for days next week, as firefighters conduct a controlled burn to prevent fires on training ranges.

A Friday statement from the Alaska Division of Forestry said the burns, set to start Monday, will be conducted by crews from the division as well as the Air Force Wildland Fire Branch and JBER Fire Department. Firefighters will be monitoring weather parameters to ensure the burns don’t exceed their capacity.

“The burns will target grassy fuels present on approximately 1,774 acres of military training ranges,” division officials wrote. “The goal is to remove fine fuels present in those areas to reduce the threat of wildfires from incidental starts that sometimes occur during training.”

The ranges' controlled burns will facilitate more training, which can be halted by fires until they are suppressed. Once the burns begin, they are anticipated to continue for three to seven days depending on weather.

The division has developed and approved a prescribed burn plan, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation has also issued open burn approvals.

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