Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Prescribed Burns Planned for Shenandoah and Big South Fork

A series of prescribed burns are scheduled for Shenandoah National Fork and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area over the next several weeks.

Prescribed burns are fires ignited on purpose by managers under a pre-determined set of conditions, called a prescription, in order to accomplish specific resource management objectives. The prescription includes weather, fuel moisture, and resource availability parameters.

Shenandoah National Park Fire Managers are planning the following burns for this year:

• Big Meadows: Portions of Big Meadows, the open area across from Byrd Visitor Center, are burned each year. In February, March or April, approximately 35 acres will be burned in the western portion of the field for the purpose of maintaining the open vista by preventing encroachment by woody species.

• Vista Maintenance: As part of an ongoing project, the park will use fire to maintain open vistas by preventing encroachment by woody species at many scenic locations along Skyline Drive. Park staff plan to burn three to four vistas this year.

• Jarman Gap Prescribed Burn: Two sections totaling 508 acres over two to three days in the early spring. This controlled burn is located in the South District from Sawmill Run Overlook to Jarman Gap. Its purpose is to improve habitat for yellow pine and oak communities which require fire to propagate.


During the next 6-8 weeks, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area fire crews will also be conducting a series of prescribed fires. Plans call for burns varying in size from 38 to 2,080 acres to occur at locations within park boundaries in both Kentucky and Tennessee. Ignitions are scheduled to occur in March and April when conditions are appropriate. For more information, please click here.


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