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Contact: Scott Babinowich, (601) 636-0583
Prescribed fires allow fire managers to conduct a safe burn under optimal conditions with sufficient resources available to meet specific objectives for the management of battlefield resources. Vicksburg’s overall objectives are to maintain the conditions of the battlefield as experienced by the soldiers who fought here; perpetuate the open space character of the landscape; maintain wildlife habitat, control invasive exotic species; reduce shrub and woody species components, and reduce fuels in wooded areas to reduce fire hazard. This proposed burn area was mechanically cleared in 2016 and the felled trees are now dry enough to be conducive to burning. This section of the park was last burned in 2013.
The portion of the Al Scheller Hiking Trail around Graveyard Road will be closed. No prolonged road closures are anticipated. It is possible that smoke conditions might reduce visibility to a level that would require a temporary closure of limited areas to ensure public and firefighter safety. On the day of the burn, runners and walkers are encouraged to use alternative routes due to the potential for smoke. Up-to-date information on this and any other closures and fire activity will be posted on the park's social media sites.
The timing of the prescribed fires is dependent on conditions being within required weather parameters such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity. The prescribed fires will be conducted from approximately late morning through the afternoon, followed by patrol and monitoring to ensure the fire is completely out.
A combination of hoses, mowed lines, and fire engines will be used to create a buffer and fire break to protect monuments and other cultural resources including identified witness trees in the burn area. National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts as well as visibility on nearby roads.
For more information including a map of the project area, and the park's Environmental Assessment/Fire Management Plan can be viewed on the park website, www.nps.gov/vick.
National Park Service fire crews from the Mississippi River Fire Management Zone based in Tupelo, MS and Vicksburg National Military Park staff will help conduct the burn. Additional notification will be made prior to the prescribed fire.
For specific questions related to the prescribed fire please contact Vicksburg National Military Park Fire Coordinator Sara Strickland (e-mail us, 601-619-2199).
Vicksburg National Military Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and protects the resources associated with the campaign for Vicksburg and provides an understanding of the events that occurred there within the context of American history.