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Contact: Sally Hurlbert, 540-999-3500 ext. 3280
Contact: Karen Beck-Herzog, 540-999-3500 ext. 3300
Luray, Virginia: Shenandoah National Park Fire Managers plan to burn 500 acres in the park's south district sometime between March 15 and April 30, 2013. The burn area is located west of Jarman Gap and northeast of Waynesboro, Virginia.
Prescribed fires are ignited by fire managers under a pre-determined set of conditions, including weather, fuel moisture and resource availability, in order to accomplish specific resource management objectives. All prescribed burns will be conducted as interagency projects, with local support, under guidance and direction of trained and experienced National Park Service personnel.
The Jarman Gap Prescribed Burn aims to reduce hazardous fuels and the threat of a major wildfire. Additionally, the fire will help to promote oak and pine regeneration, additional animal food sources, and increased plant diversity. The forest of chestnut oak and three types of pine - Virginia, pitch, and table mountain - provides valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife.
The plan is for the fire to mimic natural processes as much as possible. It will be lit in such a way that the fire will move fairly slowly down the ridges with low flames. Smoke from the burn will be visible form both inside and outside the park. Some individual trees will burn, but the fire should travel mostly across the forest floor.
During the burn, the Gasline Road Trail will be closed to the public.