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Contact: Mike Litterst, 202-306-4166
Gettysburg, Pa. – The National Park Service today successfully burned 52 acres of Little Round Top to remove grass and brush from an area historically open at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. The prescribed burn was conducted to restore the historic scene of some of the most famous fighting of the American Civil War and to reduce the buildup of potential wildfire fuel.
The burn was coordinated by National Park Service regional fire management specialists. Gettysburg National Military Park staff were joined by fire crews from Acadia National Park in Maine, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania, and Gateway National Recreation Area in New York, as well as a crew from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
While the active phase of the prescribed burn is complete, the site will continue to smolder for a few days; fire crews will continue to monitor the burn area until it is determined to be out. All Gettysburg National Military Park roads are expected to reopen on Tuesday, April 11 but the entire 52 acres of Little Round Top will remain closed to all visitors (including pedestrians, hikers, and cyclists) to allow firefighters to safety continue mop up operations within the burn area. The closure includes all Little Round Top summit parking along Sykes Avenue and Warren Avenue and the summit viewing areas and walkways. (Sykes and Warren Avenues will be open to drive through but no parking will be available.)
Little Round Top is the location of some of the most famous fighting of the Battle of Gettysburg. Its rocky slopes anchored the left flank of the Union Army of the Potomac on July 2-3, 1863. Cleared of vegetation on its western face sometime prior to the American Civil War, its open views and sweeping vistas made it an ideal point of observation and a platform for artillery. Brutal fighting swept across its lower summit on July 2, 1863.