Tomorrow, The Nature Conservancy, with support from federal and state agencies and local Fire Departments are planning to conduct prescribed burns on approximately 13 acres of the Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve in Freedom off of Ossipee Lake Road. The Nature Conservancy is planning to conduct prescribed burns on a total of 70 acres in the Pine Barrens during September or October when weather permits and crews are available.
Prescribed burns will generally be conducted between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. In some cases, the areas burned will continue to smolder into the evening, and Conservancy staff will remain on site throughout this period and until the fire is fully extinguished.
While the Conservancy takes many precautions and measures to ensure that smoke from controlled burns is directed away from developed areas and neighboring homes, temporarily shifting winds, and smoldering after dark can direct smoke in unpredictable directions. To minimize the chances of smoke entering homes located in close proximity to the burn areas, we ask that neighbors keep their windows in their homes and vehicles closed during the burn operations, and until the burn areas are extinguished.
Mechanical fuel reduction activities have been underway, including mowing areas of dense scrub oak and creating new roads/trails to serve as firebreaks. Mechanical fuel reduction activities are an important step in establishing the conditions necessary for safe implementation of prescribed burns.
The Ossipee Pine Barrens is a globally rare forest type only found in the northeastern United States where plants and animals depend upon fire for their wellbeing and regeneration. Planned, controlled burns help maintain this habitat, while making the community safer from unplanned fires by reducing the amount of built-up fuel that may be sparked by lightning or other activities. The Nature Conservancy has conducted prescribed burns in the Ossipee Pine Barrens since 2007 – totaling more than 400 acres.
For more information on fire management at the Ossipee Pine Barrens, please contact The Nature Conservancy at 224-5853.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.