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Prescribed fire planned at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts next week

Vienna, Va. – The National Park Service said it is preparing to conduct a small, prescribed fire at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts the week of April 8, depending on weather conditions. The planned fire will be smaller than one acre, located in at the circle parking area in front of the Filene Center, a new release stated.

This will be the park’s second prescribed fire following the successful burn in April 2018. The goals of this fire are to maintain wildlife habitat and control woody and invasive species.

“The safety of park staff and visitors is our top priority, along with protecting the iconic Filene Center,” Ken Bigley, park superintendent said. “We will only conduct the prescribed fire if conditions are appropriate. Fire allows for the native vegetation to flourish along with improving the habitat for wildlife.”

Many factors must align to conduct a prescribed fire and ensure public and firefighter safety. The timing of the prescribed fire is dependent on weather conditions being within required wind, temperature, and relative humidity parameters. Wildland fire engines, firefighters, and the nearby paved road serve to create buffers and fire breaks to ensure the fire is contained. NPS staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts. Upon completion of the fire activity, wildland firefighters will continue to monitor the area to ensure the fire is completely out.

Temporary Closures Planned: During the prescribed fire, public areas and trails near the Circle, Stage Road and Lot 4 will be closed for several hours. Additional park roads may need to be closed temporarily if smoke conditions reduce visibility.

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