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Park schedules controlled burns

Shenandoah National Park officials Thursday announced three controlled burns that will be conducted over the next few months to accomplish park management objectives.

Fire managers will determine the times and days to conduct the burns depending on weather conditions, fuel moisture, resource availability and other factors, Karen Beck-Herzog, a park public affairs officer, said in a news release.

Weather uncertainty makes it impossible to determine in advance on what days the burns will be conducted, she said.

The areas designated for burns are:

• Big Meadows, across from the Byrd Visitor Center in February, March or April. The fire will cover 35 to 65 acres in an effort to protect an open vista from encroaching trees and shrubs.

• Jarman Gap, in the park's south district, from Sawmill Run Overlook to Jarman Gap. The burn will encompass two sections totaling 508 acres with the goal of improving habitat for yellow pine and oak communities, which need occasional fires to regenerate themselves.

• Park headquarters, near one of the park's remote automated weather stations. The burn, limited to 1 acre, aims to reduce woody plants

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