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Contact: Katie Lawhon , 717/ 338-4402
*Updated: Burn will occur on Monday, April 18, 2016.
Gettysburg National Military Park fire managers are preparing for a prescribed fire this spring, between March 28 and April 30, weather permitting. The current plan calls for burning 36 acres at Munshower field and a portion of the Trostle woodlot, located near the intersection of Sedgwick and Wheatfield Avenues on the Gettysburg battlefield. Fuel and weather conditions must be within certain parameters and that will determine the exact dates of the fire.
Prescribed fires allow fire managers to conduct a safe burn under optimal conditions with sufficient resources available to meet specific objectives for the management of battlefield resources. Gettysburg's overall objectives are to maintain the conditions of the battlefield as experienced by the soldiers who fought here; perpetuate the open space character of the landscape; maintain wildlife habitat, control invasive exotic species; reduce shrub and woody species components, and reduce fuels in wooded areas to reduce fire hazard.
During the prescribed fire, roads and trails in the park will remain open unless smoke conditions reduce visibility to a level that would require a temporary closure of limited areas to ensure public and firefighter safety. Up-to-date information on this and any other closures and fire activity will be posted on the park's social media sites.
The date of the prescribed fire is dependent on conditions being within required weather parameters such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity. The prescribed fire will be conducted from approximately noon through the afternoon, followed by patrol and monitoring to ensure the fire is completely out.
In the Munshower burn unit, the teams igniting and holding the fire will work from existing roads at Sedgwick Avenue and Wheatfield Road. Historic structures at the G. Weikert and F. Althoff farms are located near the burn area. A combination of lawn, sprinklers, hoses and a fire engine will be used to create a buffer and fire break to protect the buildings. A mowed line will be used on the north and west sides of the fire and a hose lay will be used to control the lines. National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts as well as visibility on nearby roads.