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Contact: Katie Lawhon, 717-338-4402Conditions are right for the National Park Service to conduct a prescribed fire on 215 acres between Devils Den and South Confederate Avenue this Friday and Saturday at Gettysburg National Military Park. If conditions remain unchanged the prescribed fire on half of the burn unit will be April 13 with the second half on April 14.
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 Closures: On Friday, South Confederate Avenue and Sickles Avenue will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. On Saturday, only South Confederate Avenue will be closed. Devils Den, including all pedestrian access, will be closedFriday. All pedestrian and horse trails within the burn unit, as well as the hiking trails on Big Round Top will be closed both days. The picnic area along South Confederate Avenue will also be closed both days.
Public Viewing Areas: The public may view the prescribed fire from the Snyder farm house at West Confederate Avenue and Emmitsburg Road (parking along West Confederate Avenue), or from Little Round Top. No stopping of vehicles along Emmitsburg Road for viewing the fire will be permitted.
Additional roads, trails and areas may need to close temporarily if smoke conditions reduce visibility to a level that would require a temporary closure of limited areas to ensure public and firefighter safety.
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.
More information about prescribed fires at Gettysburg National Military Park can be found on our Prescribed Fires web page. Up-to-date information on this and any other closures and fire activity will be posted on the park's social media sites, using the hashtag, #GettysburgNPS.