Last Updated
May 9, 2016

Wildfires

The Natural Resources Management Branch (NRMB) is responsible for wildfire suppression on the installation. Wildfires occurring in impact zones are allowed to burn due to the presence of unexploded ordnance that would pose an extreme safety hazard to fire suppression personnel. A network of fire breaks is maintained around impact areas to prevent the spread of wildfires that occur there. Wildfires are a natural component of the longleaf pine ecosystem at Fort Polk and Peason Ridge.

There are two categories of wildfire causes on the installation:

Natural:  Lightning is the most common natural cause.

Man-made:  Eighty percent (80%) of the 125-150 wildfires per year are caused by military training.

Since most fires are caused by military training, a fire condition code has been established. Based mainly on drought conditions and recent wildfire history, there are four fire condition categories:

GREEN:  No impact on training.

YELLOW:  Conditions are favorable for the rapid ignition and spread of forest fires. The installation forester may recommend the suspension of explosives, incendiaries, tracers, and pyrotechnics for high-risk ranges and training areas.

RED:  Conditions will suspend the use of tracers, pyrotechnics, incendiaries, and explosives. Usually, impact areas (i.e. Redleg and Peason 6) are exempt from this condition.

BLACK:  Catastrophic fires are possible due to unusual weather conditions. Forest fires could destroy training lands, endangered species habitat, facilities and structures located throughout the forest as well as endanger the lives of field personnel. These conditions will suspend all incendiary devices to include live-fire training. Redleg and Peason 6 impact areas are not exempt in this condition.

 

Bull dozer equipped with a V-blade
Bull dozer plowing a line
Bull dozer equipped with a V-blade
Bull dozer plowing a line
Shovel utilized to suppress embers
Various equipment used for wildfire suppression
Shovel utilized to suppress embers
Various equipment used for wildfire suppression