HONOLULU (KHON2) - Don't be alarmed if you see smoke and flames in Central Oahu next week.
Army officials are conducting a prescribed burn of the Schofield Barracks training range complex starting April 23.
The burn is meant to prevent brush fires and their potential threat to more than 30 species of endangered plants and animals.
It will be conducted by the Army’s specialized Wildland Fire Division, provided environmental conditions such as wind, temperature and fuel moisture, are within the regulatory parameters.
The burn is expected to be completed in three to seven days.
“Prescribed burns make a big difference when it comes to preventing brush fire outbreaks on our training ranges,” said Justin Turnbo, fire management officer, Wildland Fire Division, USAG-HI. “They help reduce the number of brush fires by upwards of 70 percent over the year.”
“We’ve scheduled this burn a month earlier than last year to avoid potentially impacting local high school graduations,” said Chief Chuck Gibbs, Fire Division Chief, Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.
All burn operations will take place during daylight hours, and Army Wildland firefighters will remain on site each night to monitor the area. The Federal Fire Department will also be on standby for the duration of the burn.
Army staff will closely monitor humidity, wind, and the level of concentration of natural fuel in the burn areas in an effort to minimize smoke and ash. Officials will use smoke modeling software to detect direction and amount of smoke produced and make adjustments as necessary.
For questions, community members can call the Army’s Public Affairs office at 656-3159 or 656-3160.