(12 inches) of earth; this will reduce the dose rate by approximately one half. Use earth moving devices
to collect earth for sealing or burying. Shovels may be used if heavy equipment is not available or if the
contaminated area is small.
a. Fire is a rapid, simple, and effective means of decontaminating chemical and biological
agents. Burning is the quickest and most efficient decon method for areas of grassy or short
b. Ideal conditions for using fire are during periods of lapse temperature gradient with a
moderate wind speed in a direction away from friendly forces. For example, a hot, sunny day with
moderate wind. Such conditions will produce minimum downwind travel of toxic vapors.
c. Weather, agent concentration, and the amount of combustible material to be burned
determine the downwind hazard. DO NOT USE fire if it will reveal the location of friendly forces.
d. Fire destroys most chemical and biological contamination but may also vaporize some
chemical agents, and chemical and biological contamination. Some chemical agents are combustible
and convert into relatively harmless products when burned. Biological agents are killed or destroyed by
fire. Fire will not destroy radioactive contamination. Although the contaminated material is destroyed
by combustion, the radioactive hazard is not affected.
Burning operations cause a downwind hazard. Use the downwind vapor hazard
prediction technique given in FM 3-3 to predict how fumes travel from burning
When fire is being used, post sentries wearing MOPP 4 to warn personnel to stay
out of the area.
Get permission to use fire from the commander who controls the area, from the
burning site to the maximum downwind of the hazard. Warn all adjacent troops
that burning will take place.
a. Water removes fallout and biological agents but cannot remove some chemical agents. Hot
water is more effective than