Prescribed Fire To Take Place at Rachel Carson Conservation Park

Fire will take place one day between mid-February and April 2023 to help with the park’s meadow restoration program. 

Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a prescribed fire at Rachel Carson Conservation Park (located in (Brookeville) one day between mid-February to April 2023 to help restore the meadow located in the park. Prescribed fires are used to enhance and maintain native biological diversity as an alternative to mowing to remove the layer of dead plant material. This allows sunlight and rain to reach the soil surface to promote the regeneration of native wildflowers.

Prescribed fires are commonly used tools by parks departments around the country. They are conducted by highly trained staff following a set of strict criteria including fuel characteristics, weather and containment parameters. If one of the above-mentioned parameters is not met the prescribed fire will not be conducted. 

“As with all park programs and initiatives, safety is our top priority. The prescribed fire will be executed under strict requirements set forth in a Forest Service-approved prescribed burn plan,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks. “We will make sure the public is aware of the fire and take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of park patrons, staff, wildlife and habitats.” The date of the prescribed fire is dependent upon weather conditions so an exact date and time for the fire will be posted on Montgomery Parks’ Prescribed Fire Program project page.  

While the prescribed fire will be contained within the identified area, smoke will be visible but should lift adequately above the surrounding areas. The fire is expected to last about three hours and fire staff will remain on site once complete to ensure all smoldering materials are extinguished.

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