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April 12, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Don Stanley, Fire Management Officer, 301-416-0100
Catoctin Mountain Park to Conduct a Prescribed Fire
THURMONT, Md. - Weather permitting Catoctin Mountain Park will conduct a prescribed fire on the 13 acre Quarters 5 property during the period of April 15-16, 2016.
The prescribed fire will be conducted around Quarters 5 as part of Catoctin's Five Year Fire Plan and Community Wildland Fire Plan. Implementing this prescribed fire meets the following fire management objectives:
- Provide for the safety of fireline personnel, neighbors, and park visitors.
- Perpetuate native forest species by controlling Invasive/Exotic plant species.
- Demonstrate that prescribed fire is a manageable option to reduce the buildup of hazard fuel loads in the wildland urban interface that results in increased safety for the public and park personnel while proving cost and time effective as a management tool.
- Protect natural and cultural resources as described in the Fire Management Plan, Burn Plan, and summarized in the briefing.
- Provide wildland and prescribed fire training and developmental opportunities for NCR wildland fire personnel.
There should be little impact to park visitors since there are no trails, camping facilities, or picnic areas near the burn location .A temporary road closure of Foxville/Deerfield Road within the park will be in effect from the intersection of Foxville/Deerfield and Foxville Church roads north a quarter of a mile to the intersection of Foxville/Deerfield and Park Central roads.The temporary road closure is expected to last until late afternoon.Smoke is not expected to impact areas beyond the park boundary including Foxville/Deerfield road south and Foxville/Church roads to the west.
In accordance with National Park Service policy and procedures, the prescribed burns will be carried out by a qualified fire team. Firefighters from Catoctin Mountain Park and other national park areas within the National Capital Region will assist on the day of the burn. Fire departments from surrounding communities will join Catoctin Mountain Park in conducting this prescribed fire.
After conducting the prescribed fire, National Park Service staff will rehabilitate the 13 acres as appropriate to the site to encourage the growth of native plants.The area will be closely monitored after the burn to evaluate progress toward burn objectives and fire effects on vegetation.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of over 400 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato.General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.