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National Park Service plans second fire at Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park is preparing for a second prescribed fire between today, March, 26 and April 5, 2019. These dates may be extended depending upon weather conditions. The planned fire will be in the Deep Cut area of the battlefield, encompassing approximately 40 acres of open fields and brush.

This will be the park’s second prescribed fire, following what was termed “a successful inaugural burn in April 2018,” That fire covered approximately 45 acres to the east of the Brawner Farm. The goals of this year’s burn are to restore historic battlefield viewsheds, maintain wildlife habitat and control woody and invasive species.

“We’re using prescribed fire to continue our efforts to return a significant segment of the battlefield to its Civil War-era appearance and to make room for native grasses,” Manassas National Battlefield Park Superintendent Brandon Bies was quoted as saying in a news release. “Safety is our top priority, and we will only conduct the prescribed fire if conditions are appropriate.”

Many factors must be in place to conduct a prescribed fire and ensure public and firefighter safety. The timing of the prescribed fire is dependent on wind, temperature and relative humidity. Firefighters will create buffers and firebreaks to contain the fire. National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts, including visibility on nearby roads. Following the active burn, wildland firefighters will patrol the area to ensure the fire is completely out.

Temporary Closures Planned: During the prescribed fire, public areas and trails between the Brawner Farm Interpretive Center and the Deep Cut area will be closed for up to two days. Additional roads, trails and areas may need to be closed temporarily if smoke conditions reduce visibility.

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