Prescribed fire near Gettysburg Park planned for today

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 30, 2013 4:00 AM

(Gettysburg) -- 13 acres of land near the Gettysburg National Military Park are scheduled to go up in flames today, but it's for a purpose. 


The National Park Service will run the burn near the battlefield, as it experiments with ways to use fire to control vegetation.

The area is just north of Route 15 and South Confederate Avenue, out of the way of most historical markers.

To help keep the burn under control, fire specialists will supervise and a perimeter will be mowed and wet down.

Katie Lawhon is a spokesperson with the Park Service and says it's trying to expand its options.

"We're not time to re-create some kind of natural fire cycle. But it is a way to use fire to burn what is essentially a grassy field, and it has a few woody plants in it."

Lawhon says some trails around the site will be closed around noontime Wednesday, and the burn should take no longer than an hour.

Lawhon says other parks have used this tactic before, like Antietam Battlefield in Maryland and Delaware Water Gap.

She adds there won't be much to see.

"Because it's simply a grassy field, we actually don't expect there to be very high flames, and not much smoke either. It's going to be kinda a minimal visual thing."

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