Ron Hagar, chairman of the Camp Minden Community Action Group, asks a question during a town hall meeting Oct. 13 about the planned controlled detonations of clean-burning ignitor stored at Camp Minden. (Source: 1st Lt. Rebekah Malone/Army National Guard)
Magazine 505 will be detonated sometime Oct. 17-20. (Source: Nick Lawton/KSLA News 12)
Magazines 2432 and 2471 will be detonated Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, respectively. (Source: Nick Lawton/KSLA News 12)
CAMP MINDEN, LA (KSLA) -
Anticipation is building in and around Camp Minden with the planned quick burning of clean-burning igniter in 3 bunkers over the next 2 weeks at the Webster Parish compound.
Some igniter, or CBI, was involved in a combustive incident Sept. 29.
Three bunkers containing the remaining 200,000 pounds of CBI at Camp Minden will be opened by an Army explosive ordnance disposal team from Fort Polk.
Then, as authorities explained during a public meeting Thursday night, team members will place a small explosive atop the CBI in each bunker and get to a safe distance before setting it off remotely.
It's expected to create a very rapid burn comparable to a test firing of a large rocket.
"With the door open on the bunker and this huge fire coming out very rapidly," LSU-Shreveport chemistry professor Brian Salvatore explained. "And it's going to create some fires in the pine trees there, which they are going to be prepared to put out within a matter of minutes."
State Sen. Ryan Gatti, who represents the area, said he has full confidence in the crews doing the quick burns. "It's going to be very controlled, it's going to be a little amount and it's going to happen with some of the best professionals."
Each quick burn is expected to take about 30 seconds and leave very little debris.
The first is scheduled to take place between Oct. 17-20 with the other two following on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29. The quick burn Oct. 29 also is expected to include 40,000 pounds of M6 artillery propellant.
The biggest concern overall with this entire endeavor is air quality.
"This is going to produce a lot of carbon monoxide. And it's also going to produce some hydrogen cyanide," said Salvatore, a member of the Community Advisory Group.
The EPA has said it is working to bring in its Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers (TAGA0 bus, which will patrol Minden during the detonations in search of any harmful chemicals in the air.
"They're going to have this one bus, and then there also going to bring in some other additional monitors. So they will be analyzing for hydrogen cyanide," Salvatore said.
The National Guard has said the detonations will be done remotely and inside a safe zone with a 6,400-foot radius.
But the quick burns will create higher smog levels in the area on the days of the burns, particularly if it's sunny, Salvatore said.