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Contact: Karen Beck-Herzog
Shenandoah National Park Plans Prescribed Burns
Superintendent Chas Cartwright announced that, weather permitting, the National Park Service will initiate several prescribed burns in Shenandoah National Park this year. Due to the uncertainty of the weather, it is not possible to predict the exact dates.
Prescribed fires are fires ignited on purpose by managers under a pre-determined set of conditions, called a prescription, in order to accomplish specific resource management objectives. The prescription includes weather, fuel moisture, and resource availability parameters. The following burns are planned for this year:
- Big Meadows: Portions of Big Meadows, the open area across from Byrd Visitor Center, are burned each year. In March or April, approximately 35 acres will be burned in the center of the field for the purpose of maintaining the open vista by preventing encroachment by woody species.
- Blackrock: The Blackrock prescribed burn will encompass 282 acres to encourage Table Mountain Pine regeneration.
- Pass Mountain Access: The Pass Mountain Access burn of 67 acres is planned to study the effects of low-intensity fire in a mixed oak-hickory community.
- Vista Maintenance: As part of an ongoing project, the park will use fire to maintain open vistas by preventing encroachment by woody species at many scenic locations along Skyline Drive. Park staff plan to burn three to four visits this year.
All prescribed burns will be interagency projects, with local support, under the guidance and direction of trained and experienced National Park Service personnel.