The Delaware Forest Service plans to conduct a 48-acre controlled burn in the City of Lewes on Friday, April 23, beginning around mid-morning. Residents and visitors in the area might see smoke and should not be alarmed. The 48-acre site is primarily coastal marsh with phragmites and other vegetation. The purpose of the burn is to reduce hazardous fuel buildup and restore native marsh habitat. The area was last burned in 2008. The area has been treated several times over the past ten years to control phragmites, (Phragmites australis), which outcompetes native vegetation and lowers the local plant biodiversity.
Visitors to Delaware state forests can now use a mobile phone to locate trails, hunting stands, or parking areas using the Avenza Maps® mobile app (available for iPhone or Android devices from the App Store or Google Play.) All state forest maps are free to download. The app uses the phone’s built-in GPS to locate it on the map, even when the device is out of range of a network or Internet connection. Users can select a particular map of interest, which can be downloaded and stored on their phone. A blue dot follows users wherever they go so they always know where they are on the map. More info at de.gov/forestmaps
The Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is the first state agency in the United States to make a pledge that supports the 1t.org global goal to conserve, restore, and grow one trillion trees by 2030.
Delaware’s state forest campsites are now open to the public under a new online system that allows for advance booking and preferred site selection. Primitive-style camping is available 365 days a year on a first-come, first-serve basis at both Blackbird State Forest, north of Smyrna, and Redden State Forest, north of Georgetown. The cost per night is $25 per site (plus a small administrative fee) with a three night maximum stay per reservation. Each state forest has added two new sites for a total of eight (8) at Blackbird and seven (7) at Redden. All camping requires a permit and is subject to state forest rules and regulations. Complete information, maps, camping rules, and links to make a reservation are available at de.gov/forestcamping.
The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) is always looking for motivated recruits to join its wildland fire crew. There is no cost for training and no previous experience necessary. Candidates must be over 18 years, willing to learn, physically fit, and able to travel for at least two weeks at a time, usually in the summer months. In a typical year, the DFS would offer its in-person classes over several weekends in Dover. This year, all required courses for new firefighters will be offered online through the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) and Federal Emergency Management Agency websites. The complete list of courses and links to online training are at https://de.gov/firecrew