News Release

Gettysburg National Military Park plans prescribed fire in the southern portion of the battlefield in April

Map of the Bushman Slyder prescribed fire area on the south end of the battlefield.
Map of the Bushman Slyder prescribed fire area on the south end of the battlefield.

NPS map

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News Release Date: March 28, 2019

Contact: Jason Martz, 717-338-4423

Gettysburg National Military Park fire managers are preparing for a prescribed fire on one day during April, weather permitting. The plans call for burning portions of a 117 acre burn unit between the Slyder Lane and South Confederate Avenue. Fuel and weather conditions must be within certain parameters and that will determine the exact date for the operation. 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 exotic invasive species; reduce shrub and woody species components; and reduce fuels in wooded areas to reduce fire hazard.

Temporary Road and Trail Closures Planned

During the prescribed fire, South Confederate Avenue will be closed. Closures may last two or three days. Pedestrian and equestrian trails located within the burn area will also be closed. Additional roads, trails and areas may be closed temporarily if smoke conditions reduce visibility to a level that would cause visibility problems and public and firefighter safety concerns. Up-to-date information on this and any other closures and fire activity will be posted on the park's web and social media sites.

The timing 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 late morning through the afternoon, followed by patrol and monitoring to ensure the fire is completely out. A combination of lawn-sprinklers, hoses, mowed lines, and fire engines will be used to create a buffer and fire break to protect monuments and other cultural resources in the burn area. National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts as well as visibility on nearby roads.

Visit our Planning web page for more information about our Fire Management Plan.

Last updated: March 28, 2019

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1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325


(717) 334-1124

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