Marines

Camp Lejeune creates website to keep community informed

5 Oct 2010 | Marine Cpl. Jessica L. Martinez

When people see smoke, their first reaction may be to dial 911, but for service members, families and Department of Defense civilians living on or around Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, there is now a website they can visit to find out if that smoke is a threat or from a prescribed burn.

The website can be accessed directly from MCB Camp Lejeune’s website, lejeune.marines.mil. On the homepage is a box on the right-hand side of the screen, toward the top, that reads … “current prescribed burn notice.” After clicking on that box, visitors are directed to the prescribed burn web page.

The web page displays a map that pinpoints burn sites and lists additional information about burns taking place. Anyone can access the page, and it is a permanent site that is updated daily.

Joe Ramirez, the Marine Corps liaison for Government and External Affairs with MCB Camp Lejeune, said the county and city emergency operation centers often receive high volumes of 911 calls from people who report fire and smoke in the areas surrounding the base. Ramirez added emergency personnel who check on these fires sometimes find nothing more than a prescribed burn being conducted by the base.

Prescribed burns are controlled fires used to help improve wildlife habitats, increase visibility of training areas and reduce the amount of fuel foliage on the earth’s ground so when a wildfire does happen, the consequences aren’t as severe and damaging to the wooded areas.

“The importance of the website is to help save some time, money and panic,” said Ramirez. “If you live on or near the base, most likely you will see the burns or smoke from the burns at some point. Now when people see smoke, they can check the website before calling 911, or if they call emergency operation centers, center personnel can check the website to find out if it is a scheduled prescribed burn taking place in the reported area.”

In just the few weeks that the site has been up and running, Ramirez said the county, city and emergency operation centers have found the site to be very useful.

The next time people see smoke, Ramirez advised them to check out the website to see if there are any prescribed burns taking place before calling the emergency operation centers.

For more information on prescribed burns, visit www.lejeune.marines.mil.