The 500-acre Jarman Gap prescribed burn in Shenandoah National Park was successfully completed on Wednesday and Thursday, April 10-11. Assistant Fire Management Officer John Fry reported that "prescribed fire objectives were achieved." Fry added that local residents and visitors will continue to see smoke from within the burn area over the next several days.
Firefighters successfully contained three spot fires that occurred outside of the planned burn area, but within the park's boundary. They were assisted by water drops from a helicopter staged at Shenandoah Valley Airport by the National Park Service and other agencies during peak fire season. Crews will work today to clear a small portion of the A.T. and Turk Branch Trail, both temporarily closed due to the spot fires.
The Jarman Gap prescribed burn goals were to reduce hazardous fuels and the threat of a major wildfire. The fire will also help to promote oak and pine regeneration, additional animal food sources, and increased plant diversity. The forest of chestnut oak and three types of pine - Virginia, pitch, and table mountain - provides valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife.
The prescribed burn was a multi-agency effort with firefighters and other resources from across the region. Local support came from Dooms and Wilson Fire Departments.
Hiking in the Smokies