Airport officials have announced a special training simulation at the Fairbanks International Airport, which may produce large plumes of smoke to be visible in the vicinity.
Fairbanks International Airport Police and Fire Chief Moses Villalobos announced the training for Saturday June 12 beginning at 4 p.m., citing Federal Aviation Administration requirements for training crews.
"During the training exercise, occasional columns of black smoke, lasting a short duration, may be observed in the south airport vicinity," Villalobos said in his release. "Controlled burning of diesel fuel on the airport enables airport firefighters with required recurrent practical training evolutions in order to provide increased safety to the traveling public."
The training was expected to last roughly two hours, and is in an area of the property that FIA Fire and Police Deputy Chief Dan Grimes said poses no threat to normal air traffic to and from the airport. Grimes also noted that a dedicated emergency response team would be available for any real emergencies in the area during the training exercises.
"We are required by law to do this at least once a year," Grimes said Saturday. "But, depending on the year, we do it more than once for our new hires and trainees."
Grimes said Saturday that local emergency dispatchers have been notified of the training, and encouraged locals to still call 911 if they believed a real fire was occurring.