CONCORD - The N.H. Fish and Game Department and the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development Division of Forests and Lands, with support from the N.H. Army National Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the City of Concord, will conduct a prescribed burn in areas on and near Concord Municipal Airport grounds this spring.
The burn is planned for sometime between April 13 and May 20, depending on the weather and atmospheric conditions.
"Planning and preparation are a large part of prescribed burning," said Heidi Holman, a biologist for N.H. Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program, who oversees the project. "This allows us to ensure that conditions and available resources are adequate to safely implement this invaluable management practice to restore the Concord pine barrens."
While rare species are associated with both early and late successional stages of the Concord Pine Barrens, the most critically imperiled species occur in the grassy opening stage. Fire is a tool used in restoring or converting habitat conditions that are capable of supporting rare and important wildlife, including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly - New Hampshire's official state butterfly. The fire will also reduce dangerous accumulations of wood that could result in wild, unmanageable fires if left unchecked.
Precautions will be taken to limit smoke and to ensure that the prescribed burn stays within the area's borders. In addition, at least one fire vehicle with water tank will be available on-site at all times as part of the protocol to deal with any unexpected situations.