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Fire Services Conducts Prescribed Burn at X-611A Former Lime Sludge Lagoons

Fluor-B&W Fire Services personnel conduct a burn at the
X-611A prairie December 18.

The prescribed burn of the X-611A prairie vegetation over the former lime sludge lagoons is required by DOE every five years to help maintain a prairie ecosystem.

PIKETON, Ohio – December 19, 2011 -- Six PORTS Fire Services firefighters conducted a prescribed burn of the grasses of the X-611A Prairie, the former lime sludge lagoons, Sunday afternoon, Dec. 18. Several other personnel were on hand to assist and provide required support.

“The X-611A Prairie was constructed as a remediation of the X-11A Lime Sludge Lagoons,” said Jim Thomson, Environmental Remediation Operations Manager for Fluor-B&W Portsmouth. “As part of the routine maintenance of the prairie, the prairie vegetation is burned once every three to five years. Burning stimulates prairie plant growth and discourages cool-season domestic grasses and woody invaders, thus tipping the balance in favor of the prairie species. The site encompasses a total of 18 acres.”

The soil and vegetative cover system consists of a minimum 2-foot-thick soil layer covering a reinforcement geo¬textile fabric that was placed over the sludge. The soil layer was designed to support a prairie vegetation ground cover about four feet high.

The Northeast Bypass Road was closed during the activity, which had to be postponed from a Thursday, Dec. 15 date due to rain. Area service agencies and residents were notified of the burn, but no outside assistance was needed during the December 18 activities.