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Contact: Stephanie Loeb, 610-783-1013
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA – Final preparations are underway for a prescribed fire at Valley Forge National Historical Park that will take place in October. The project will test the effectiveness of prescribed fire in reducing the encroachment of invasive plant species in park meadows. The area to be burned is an 18-acre meadow south of Yellow Springs Road near the park's southwest boundary.
The specific date of the prescribed fire depends on weather conditions falling within required parameters, such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity, and may be as early as the first week in October. Visitor facilities, trails, and roads will remain open throughout the burn. Traffic on Yellow Springs Road may experience delays. The burn is expected to last no longer than one day.
The test prescribed fire will allow the park to evaluate whether fire is a viable tool to manage meadows to promote high quality wildlife habitat. Valley Forge National Historical Park contains over 1,500 acres of meadows which provide extremely important habitat for birds and mammals. In recent years, however, the meadows have been overtaken by exotic invasive plants which degrade the habitat and cannot be adequately controlled by mowing or herbicide. The area for the test burn was selected because it is not immediately adjacent to recreation areas, major roads, or neighbors and has a diverse mixture of native and non-native plant species that will be assessed following the burn. If successful, prescribed fire could be used in additional areas in the park.
Valley Forge National Historical Park is coordinating the burn with staff from the Mid-Atlantic Fire Management Area based at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The perimeter of the prescribed fire will be mowed and wetted with water prior to ignition. A sprinkler line will be put in place along the perimeter as needed. National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts as well as visibility on Yellow Springs Road.
For further questions, please contact that park's Public Information Officer, Stephanie Loeb by email or phone: Stephanie_Loeb@nps.gov or 610-783-1013.
Valley Forge was the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of George Washington's Continental Army. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times. For more information about the park, please visit our website at nps.gov/vafo or call 610-783-1099. Follow Valley Forge on social media: Facebook.com/ValleyForgeNHP, Twitter @ValleyForgeNHP, and Instagram @ValleyForgePark and share your photos and experiences.