Delaware Forest Service to conduct 74-acre controlled burn near Frankford
FRANKFORD, Del. – The Delaware Forest Service plans to conduct a prescribed fire on 74 acres west of U.S. Route 113 near the Town of Frankford, Sussex County. The burning could begin as early as Monday, October 27, though officials estimate the date might be closer to mid-week. The actual date of ignition will depend on local weather and fuel conditions. The land is owned by Delaware Wild Lands Inc., a non-profit conservation organization headquartered in Odessa, Delaware. The prescribed fire will be coordinated by the Delaware Forest Service, which will provide key staff and conduct the burn.
Unlike a wildfire, a prescribed fire or “controlled burn” is a fire that is intentionally ignited according to carefully-defined weather conditions identified in a prescribed burn plan. Factors such as fuel type, wind speed and direction, and air temperatures are critical elements of the prescribed fire plan, which is designed to maximize safety and control and to effectively disperse smoke away from human populations. For this project, the acreage in the prescribed burn plan has been broken into six smaller blocks to allow more effective control of the project. Prescribed fires are a useful land management tool that can be effective for habitat restoration, site preparation for reforestation or other land conservation objectives, removal of accumulated fuels that could cause future wildfires, and invasive species management without the use of herbicides.
In the past year, the Delaware Forest Service completed nine prescribed fires on a total of 184 acres, including a 90-acre controlled burn on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. In 2013, Delaware Forest Service staff worked with officials from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Environmental Stewardship Program to conduct a 16-acre prescribed burn at Brandywine Creek State Park. The previous year, the DFS worked with Delaware State Parks officials to conduct a controlled burn at Cape Henlopen State Park .
It is possible that some residents or visitors to the area may see or smell smoke. People should not be alarmed; the fires will be carefully monitored. Local authorities will be notified prior to burn days and kept informed throughout burning operations.
Contact: Erich T. Burkentine – DFS Southern Regional Forester and Regional Fire Management Officer – 18074 Redden Forest Drive, Georgetown, DE 19947 Office: 302. 856.2893 Cell: 302.233.1994, email: Erich.Burkentine@delaware.gov
Additional contact: John Petersen, Community Relations Officer, Delaware Forest Service
office: 302.698.4552 cell: 302.233.8180 email: firstname.lastname@example.org