Action to Improve Wildlife Habitat, Protect Trees
Access to the east side of the wildlife management area — at the primitive camping area and at Middle Ridge Road — will be limited during the burn, but will reopen as soon as the project is complete. The burn will involve a low, controlled flame targeting underbrush and ground cover debris, and smoke is expected to be minimal.
The purpose of the burn is to improve habitat for wildlife and to restore a stand of pitch pine and table mountain pine that is more than 90 years old.
“The flames will open up the pine cones to provide food for wildlife and help a new generation of seedlings to grow,” Wildlife and Heritage ServiceHabitat Manager Rick Latshaw said. “Numerous other benefits, such as reduced fuel and improved regeneration of oak, are also goals of the burn.”
The department’s trained wildland firefighters will be onsite with trucks and other equipment to assure the burn is done safely and efficiently. Adequate fire lines will be established before the burn and signs will be posted along Route 220, in the area of the burn, notifying people of the burn activity. There are no homes or other structures nearby.
The prescribed burn will only take place if weather conditions are favorable during the three-week window. Members of the public should contact the Western Region Wildlife and Heritage Office at 301-777-2136 with any questions.