Unexploded grenades, mortars, missiles keep crews away from Fort Greely wildfire
Firefighters were watching, but not attacking, a 6,745-acre wildfire Tuesday burning 11 miles south of Delta Junction.
Caution is being used due to unexploded ordnance in the Donnelly Training Area of Fort Greely, where the Oregon Lakes Fire is currently burning.
Kale Casey, a fire information officer with the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team, says it's too dangerous to put crews in. He says firefighters are prepared to act quickly with suppression efforts if the fire spreads to a safer area nearby.
Casey says the training area has been used for decades by the military with many types of munitions being used such as grenades, mortars and missiles. Officials say the area is also unsafe for low-flying fire suppression aircraft due to the ordnance on the ground.
Casey says that there are about 30 to 50 homes in the community of Whitestone and another 30 to 50 homes in the area, but neither those structures nor any military infrastructure are threatened. There was no evacuation alert Tuesday for those areas or Delta Junction.
Casey says the fire was reported on April 30. He says the cause is under investigation but says the fire was not started by munitions training, lightning or recreation.
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