September 16, 2014
Contact: Fred Mason
National Park Service Fire Managers are planning to burn an 11-acre (4.5-hectare) field in Acadia National Park near the intersection of ME 3 and Northeast Creek in Bar Harbor on September 18, 2014. The actual start of the fire will be dependent upon weather and wind conditions. An attempt to burn this field in late August was not possible, because weather and wind conditions were not within the required prescription.
This proposed prescribed fire will be ignited by fire managers under a pre-determined set of conditions--weather, fuel moisture and resource availability--in order to reduce woody vegetation, promote native grasses, improve bird habitat, and provide training to local fire departments. This burn will be conducted cooperatively, using local support, under the guidance and direction of trained and experienced interagency fire personnel.
The National Park Service has been managing the Pooler Farm field (as called by park staff) as a cultural landscape and has been regularly mowed to keep it open. Burning it has several advantages over mowing. It reduces soil compaction, more effectively treats woody vegetation that a mower can’t reach, and facilitates greater nutrient release to plants.
The burn will be managed in such a way to protect adjacent homes and minimize smoke. Weather patterns will be watched and the fire will be lit when the wind is in the direction to push the smoke away from the adjacent homes and highway. Plans are for the fire to move in a backing manner over the field. Fire crews also intend to allow some coniferous trees in the middle of the field to burn. Smoke from the burn will be visible from town for a short period of time.
The National Park Service also plans to burn three additional sites in the park this fall. These include two vistas on the Park Loop Road (between ME 233 and Hulls Cove Visitor Center) and the blueberry field between the Jordan Pond House and Jordan Pond. All three of these sites have been previously burned by the National Park Service.