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Minnesota National Guard
Controlled Fires Ignite at Camp Ripley (video)

http://ksaxcom/ksaxImages/CAMP_RIPLEY_PIC3JPGLITTLE FALLS, Minn (KSAX) - Camp Ripley conducted controlled burns to reduce hazards and improve training areas Tuesday The camp's Department of Public Works, Environmental Team and Fire Department worked together to clean up 15,000 acres of dry land

"It's important to our training and that's really why we do this this burning is done mostly to protect our soldiers' ability to train," Camp Ripley Post Commander, Colonel Scott St Sauver said

He said that controlled burns also reduce the risk of any wildfires leaving Camp Ripley and entering other areas, such as Baxter, which is just north of the camp

St Sauvers said the weather conditions however, have made burning difficult this season

"It's been a tough spring for us this year, it's been very cold, and very wet, and obviously we all know about the snow, but that's made it very difficult for us to get these burns completed," St Sauver said

But on Tuesday, Camp Ripley Fire Chief, Pat Boone said the weather was just right for the 4,300 acre burn

"Our temperature's a little cooler, so the fire won't burn quite as rapidly Humidity is low, and the wind is calm, calm to a little bit out to the north, but we'll rotate around to the south," Boone said

The crew monitored the wind throughout the day Tuesday and took weather readings every hour during the process to ensure a safe burn

"We focus on safety for all the fire fighters, and soldiers on post We're a very well trained unit, we have well trained fire fighters on post What we do, we do in a very safe manner," Boone said, "And if there are any concerns, we are open for questions, but we focus on safety"

St Sauver said that he warned the Brainerd City Council about the possible smoke they would see Tuesday from the burn, but said it should rise up without causing any problems

Written for the web by Emily Reppert
Updated: 05/04/2011 1:54 PM KSAXcom
By: Emily Reppert

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