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Contact: Dena Matteson, 573-323-8028
VAN BUREN MO:Preparations are underway for Ozark National Scenic Riverways to accomplish several prescribed burns this spring.The burns will be carefully planned and monitored by the park's Fire Management staff and will be performed between late February and mid-April. The ignition and timing of these prescribed burns is dependent on the weather and vegetation meeting certain conditions. During the prescribed burns, park operations will continue as usual.
In order to ensure the safety of firefighters and the public, foot and vehicle travel in or near the prescribed fire operations may be restricted. Firefighters plan to conduct prescribed burns during weather conditions that will allow for smoke to disperse without causing negative impacts. However, smoke may impair visibility in the vicinity of the prescribed burn and could linger low in the atmosphere over a broad geographic area. Individuals with respiratory ailments are encouraged to take extra precautions to avoid exposure to smoke. Anyone who is concerned about the potential impacts of smoke from a prescribed burn can request to be added to the park's notification list in order to be contacted in advance.
Prescribed burning has a variety of purposes, including the reduction of fuel accumulations near developed areas, which helps reduce the threat of unplanned wildland fires in and around Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Prescribed fire benefits native species and habitats in a variety of ways. Native species are adapted to fire, and in many cases actually depend on fire in order to thrive. Managed fires help restore native habitats such as glades and savannas, which can suffer from the encroachment of woody species. Prescribed burning also improves the structure of forests and woodlands. Deer, turkeys, collared lizards and other species benefit from the use of fire to maintain or improve their habitats.
Several prescribed burn units are currently planned for treatment this spring in Shannon County. The Pistol Barrel prescribed burn unit is 198 acres and is located northeast of Alley Spring. The Vance Barnett prescribed burn unit contains 1,714 acres and is located north of Klepzig Mill. Booming Shoals prescribed burn unit encompasses 1,150 acres and is located east of Powder Mill in Shannon County. The Bay Branch prescribed burn unit is 504 acres and is located west of Williams Landing.
We encourage all to visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/ozaror our Facebook page for further updates. For more information on the park's burn plans and policies or to be included on the notification list in order to be contacted prior to prescribed burns, contact Fire Communication and Education Specialist Dena Matteson at (573) 323-8028 or e-mail us.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways preserves the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, the surrounding resources, and the unique cultural heritage of the Ozark people.