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La. Guard uses prescribed burns to protect environment

By Staff Sgt. Garrett Dipuma, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Army National Guard (LAARNG) Environmental Program conducted their first test burn at Camp Minden in an effort to incorporate the Wildland Fire Program (WFP), Jan. 12.

The Louisiana National Guard (LANG) is well known for their efforts in recovery operations after natural disasters but less known are their initiatives in conservation management.

“The two main objectives of our Wildland Fire Program that are directly tied to our overall conservation plan are the reduction of fuel loads such as undergrowth and fallen debris to prevent forest fires and to promote native species, both floras and faunas,” said Col. James Slaven, director of the LANG Construction Facility Management Office.

The purpose of the Wildland Fire Program is to improve the overall diversity of the LANG landscape by using prescribed burns to ensure ecologically sound and safe approaches for this reduction.

The Integrated Wildland Fire Management Plan (IWFMP) established guidelines for interagency coordination, smoke management and air quality, safety and emergency operations, risk assessment, monitoring and personnel training and certification. It also provides a detailed analysis of natural and cultural resource considerations, mission considerations and wildland fuel factors.

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