Two days of burning on the old Fort Ord Army military base is one of the final acts in the process of turning over more than 3,300 acres of the old base to local and other federal jurisdictions. The prescribed burns are part of a ‘munitions remediation’ project that has been ongoing since 2007. Private contractors were granted $100 million to rid the one time gun range of unspent munitions. Burning off the thick brush will allow remediation crews to safely complete the project.
Because of the potential for unexploded ammunition burn contractors utilized two helitorch choppers. According the Monterey Herald five helicopters worked the fire. One control unit, two helitorch ships and two helicopters armed with water buckets. Fifty firefighters total assisted on scene.
Flames slopped over twice during day two of the burn forcing evacuation of a nearby school. Both spots were readily extinguished. All considered the 500 (plus) acre, two day burn went well. In 2003 a similar burn effort on another part of the old base blew up and claimed close to 2,000 acres.