Shenandoah National Park Plans Prescribed Burns for 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shenandoah National Park Fire Managers are planning several prescribed burns in the park this year. Ignition of prescribed fire is dependent on favorable weather conditions, and due to weather uncertainty, it is not possible to predict the exact dates for each burn.

Prescribed fires are ignited by fire managers under a pre-determined set of conditions, including weather, fuel moisture and resource availability, in order to accomplish specific resource management objectives. The following burns are planned for this year:

• Big Meadows Prescribed Burn: A portion of Big Meadows, the open area across from Byrd Visitor Center, is burned each year. Between now and April, approximately 35-65 acres will be treated using controlled fire for the purpose of maintaining the open vista by preventing encroachment by trees and shrubs.

• Jarman Gap Prescribed Burn: Two sections totaling 508 acres will be burned over two to three days in the early spring. This prescribed burn is located in the South District from Sawmill Run Overlook to Jarman Gap. The burn is designed to improve habitat for yellow pine and oak communities which require fire to regenerate.

• HQ RAWS Field Prescribed Burn: Approximately one acre located at park headquarters will be treated with controlled fire in order to reduce woody plants in the vicinity of one of the park's Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS).

All prescribed burns will be conducted as interagency projects, with local support, under the guidance and direction of trained and experienced National Park Service personnel.


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