DOE: Controlled Burns Scheduled in Oak Ridge

POSTED: February 8, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Office (ORO) is initiating a series of controlled burns of grassland areas on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Three Bend Area off Pump House and Bull Bluff Roads, and other managed grassland areas off Bethel Valley Road and off Highway 58.

Beginning this week and continuing through mid-April 2019, as weather permits, controlled burns will take place at:

·         Freels Bend fields – up to approximately 284 acres of grassland and scrub,

·         Gallaher Bend fields - up to approximately 125 acres of grassland and kudzu,

·         Solway Bend fields – up to approximately 62 acres of grassland,

·         Hickory Creek Bend woodland – up to approximately 21 acres of forest, grassland and kudzu,

·         Bethel fields – up to approximately 40 acres of grassland,

·         Clear Springs fields – up to approximately 74 acres of grassland,

·         Wheat Church Vista – approximately 5.5 acres of grassland, and

·         Dyllis kudzu control – approximately 10 acres of forest edge, grassland and kudzu.

These planned burns are part of DOE’s efforts to provide wildlife habitat, encourage growth of native plants, and reduce the risk of wildfires. They are conducted and overseen by the State of Tennessee Division of Forestry (TDF) personnel who maintain fire control equipment, certified burn managers, and trained personnel at the burn area.  Smoke may be observed in the Oak Ridge vicinity of Clark Center Park or south of the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education campus during the burns.

Additionally, DOE in collaboration with the TDF, TWRA, and the City of Oak Ridge Fire Department, will resume proactive installation of firebreaks in forested areas downslope from Reservation urban interfaces. These measures are undertaken to reduce the risk of wildfire spread.

For additional information, contact the DOE-ORO Public Affairs Office at (865) 576-0885.