Fort Polk Guardian 11-01-2019

Guardian Nov. 1, 2019 NewScope Veterans Day The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk hosts a Veterans Day celebration Thursday, from 9-11 a.m., at Polk Army Airfield. Ameet and greet is held from 9-10 a.m. in Hangar No. 4297 for veterans of all conflicts. Veterans and their guests can en- joy coffee, donuts and fruit as they renew old bonds and create new ones. Following the meet and greet, the veterans are invited to march down, with fellow veterans from each of the nation’s conflicts, to Hangar No. 4239 for the ceremony which begins at 10 a.m. The guest speaker is Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, commander, JRTC and Fort Polk. PT hours Army physical readiness training has been expanded from 6:30-8 a.m., Monday through Friday. This necessitates the clo- sure of the one ways along Alabama and Georgia avenues from 6:30-8 a.m. Monday through Friday. Signs are being updated with the new times and road blocks/barri- cades will be in place. Please exercise cau- tion when encountering Soldiers conduct- ing PT. Road repair Phase 3 of the Louisiana Avenue road re- pair project requires the closure of Bell Richard and Holmlund avenues and Mag- nolia Drive at the intersections with Louisiana Avenue from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. through Nov. 15. Repairs include the milling and asphalt paving from ACP 1 (Entrance Road) to La. Hwy 467. This phase will require changes to the traffic pattern of Corvias housing residents due to these intersections being closed to traffic. Residents will be required to utilize de- tours along these routes to access and de- part the housing areas from La. Hwy 467. Additionally, ACP 4 (Louisiana Avenue and La. Hwy 10) will remain open Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m. for outbound traffic. Through traffic on Louisiana Av- enue from La. Hwy 467 to ACP 1 will be open for in and outbound traffic, but mo- torists are encouraged to utilize alternate routes due to traffic congestion. Note: ACP 2 (University Parkway and La. Hwy 467 North) and ACP 5 (La. Hwy 467 and La. Hwy 10) will resume normal operating hours during this phase. Drainage repair A contract was awarded to repair the failed drainage structure at Turtle Pond on Briefs /3 Please see Briefs , page 6 FORT POLK, La. — Every winter, foresters throughout Louisiana take advantage of the dead foliage and cooler temperatures to do a little woodland-style housekeeping by way of pre- scribed burning. To those unfamiliar with this concept, it is the burning of underbrush, debris and detritus that chars the forest ground into a black carpet. The fires are slow enough that any woodland crea- tures can easily escape or take cover, and the charcoal produced adds nutrients to the soil that improves the health of local flora. Burning dead or fallen trees in addition to the underbrush also reduces the amount of fuel available for potential wildfires and decreases the amount of debris that may become airborne during a tornado or hurri- cane. Prescribed burns take place about every three years depending on the amount of growth, according to Bruce Martin, chief, Fort Polk’s En- vironmental and Natural Resources Management Branch. Another benefit to prescribed burning is im- proved visibility in the woods. It’s harder to hide in a cleared forest, so lost children or pets are more easily found, and criminals will find no refuge among the trees. The only down side to the burn appears to be with the smoke. With foresters, safety personnel, Directorate of Emergency Services firemen and military police standing by (and constant patrols around the burn site before, during and after the burn), these fires stay low to the ground and pro- duce some smoke. Burning at this time of year produces the least amount of smoke because plants have not yet begun to sprout and there is less green foliage, according to Shane Johnson, prescribed burn manager for the ENRMD Branch. “When we conduct these burns (in housing ar- eas), we try to give an ample heads up to every- one,” said Johnson. “We will start in November in the areas North of Louisiana Ave., depending on the weather. Before we start, we’ll contact the Corvias (Military Living) officials and their may- ors so they can notify residents.” Johnson said he will also work with Fort Polk’s Warrior Operations Center (all users), so- cial media outlets and as much door-to-door as possible. Those with Family members that have respiratory issues should notify the Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support office at Army Community Service. Appropriate notifi- cation of burn days will be coordinated between EFMP and Corvias to allow Families to make plans to be out of the area during the designated timeframe (smoke dissipates after a few hours). If you just don’t want to smell the smoke, you will have enough time to leave before the fires are lit. Alternatively, you could simply stay in- doors with the windows and doors closed. The fires are kept small and any smoke produced is short-lived. The foresters that plan the prescribed burns take much into account: Wind speed and direc- tion, time of day (they try to complete burning before school lets out) and potential wind shifts. The goal is to avoid schools, day-care facilities and Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital as much as possible. Areas that receive priority for burning are those that lay closest to man-made structures, because fire easily jumps from tree- tops to roofs. “We’re not too concerned if the wood line is 100 or more feet away from any buildings,” said Johnson. “But in some of these areas, the wood line is less that 25 feet from a home, so those have to be addressed first.” So don’t be too worried if you see the woods around housing areas smoldering and blackened in the coming weeks. By summer these areas will all turn a vibrant green, creating new shoots and leaves for the wildlife to eat, a healthy soil com- position and a safer environment for Fort Polk housing residents. Prescribed burns to begin in November GUARDIAN STAFF Shane Johnson, Fort Port Direc- torate of Public Works forestry prescribed burn manager, interacts with housing resi- dents while pa- trolling a complet- ed prescribed burn. DPW will begin its annual prescribed burn- ing near Fort Polk housing areas during November. DPW