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    Shenandoah

    National Park Virginia

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Prescribed Burns Planned for 2011

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Date: March 7, 2011

Shenandoah National Park Fire Managers are planning several prescribed burns in Shenandoah National Park this spring. Ignition of the prescribed fire is dependent on weather conditions. Due to the uncertainty of the weather, it is not possible to predict the exact dates.

Prescribed fires 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. The following burns are planned 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.

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

Did You Know?

The scarlet tanager has bright red feathers and black wings and tail during mating season. Its color changes to olive during the winter.

Most of the Shenandoah National Park’s 200 bird species are heard rather than seen, due to the dense canopy of leaves. More...