Ossipee Pine Barrens Maintenance Schedule Announced

Concord—June 24, 2013—The Nature Conservancy has announced it will conduct prescribed burns this summer and fall at the Ossipee Pine Barrens in Freedom and Ossipee. The burns are conducted annually to reduce the risk of wildfire and help accelerate restoration of the unique pine barrens ecosystem. The prescribed burns will be conducted when weather conditions permit between now and approximately the end of October, and when qualified fire crews and equipment are available.

The burns will be conducted on up to 100 acres of the preserve in three separate locations in Freedom and Ossipee. Prior to burning, mechanical fuel reduction will be completed, including mowing areas of dense scrub oak and creating or enhancing roads and trails to serve as firebreaks.

The mechanical fuel reduction activities are an important step in establishing the conditions necessary for safe implementation of prescribed burns. Mechanical fuel reduction activities have largely been completed, according to the Conservancy, but some additional work will be completed within the next several weeks.

The 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.

Abutting property owners can minimize the chances of smoke entering their home by keeping windows closed during the burn operations and until the burn areas are extinguished. To receive notice of the burn dates, immediate neighbors of the property should contact Jeffrey Lougee at (603) 356-8833 or jlougee@tnc.org.

Ossipee Pine Barrens Maintenance Schedule Announced