Prescribed Burn at Malvern Hill

Two rangers monitor a prescribed burn at Malvern Hill in 2006.
Richmond National Battlefield Park will conduct a prescribed burn like the one shown at Malvern Hill.

National Park Service

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News Release Date: March 12, 2008

Contact: Tim Mauch, 804 795-5018

Contact: Kristen Allen, 804 795-5019

The National Park Service is planning to conduct a prescribed burn on approximately 50 acres of park property at Malvern Hill Battlefield, Richmond National Battlefield Park during the middle part of March. The burn will be carried out only if certain conditions are met, as described below. The areas to be burned are surrounded by a black-top road, gravel trail, and areas of short-mowed grass. The objectives of the burn are: 1) to maintain the historic scene as a meadow, while reducing maintenance costs; 2) to reduce woody and non-native species density.

Throughout the burn, weather conditions will be monitored frequently. Various factors such as wind direction, wind speed, smoke dispersion, and fuel moisture must be within a strict, pre-determined range. If any of these environmental parameters are not met, the burn will not proceed; if the conditions start favorably and change, the burn will be stopped. Under this prescription, the fire will move slowly through the area and stop at the established burn breaks. Smoke will disperse quickly from the area, although neighbors may smell smoke during and after the burn period. In the future, the park plans to burn this area every two to three years in order to maintain an open meadow landscape as it appeared when the opposing armies arrived here on July 1, 1862.

The park will have no fewer than ten (10) certified fire fighters on hand to ensure that the fire is conducted safely and without incident. The fire is expected to last no longer than 8 hours. The park trail and parsonage parking lot will be closed during the burn for visitor safety. Following the burn, the area will temporarily be black. However, in just a few weeks, the area will be green with vegetation.



Last updated: February 26, 2015

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