Prescribed fires planned at Theodore Roosevelt National Park
MEDORA -- The National Park Service plans to implement prescribed fire projects in Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s North and South Units between April 24 and May 25.
Portions of two separate areas covering nearly 16,000 acres could receive burn treatments this spring, the park said in a recent press release.
The first area is located in the South Unit and falls within the interior of the Scenic Drive. The second area is in the North Unit and consists of everything from the Scenic Drive south to the Little Missouri River, extending from River Bend Overlook west to Oxbow Overlook.
One of the goals of the burns is to restore fire to areas of the park that have historically been
subjected to natural periodic wildfire. Nearly one third of the topography within the burn units includes clay buttes, moist drainages and areas of bare ground that will not burn.
“These natural firebreaks greatly reduce the total area that actually burns and help firefighters contain the fire to desired areas, avoiding impacts to fire-sensitive vegetation and culturally important sites,” the park said. “The resulting mosaic of burned and unburned areas is the desired outcome and would be expected in a naturally occurring fire.”
If favorable weather and vegetative conditions continue this spring to allow for safe burns, local fire departments and law enforcement agencies will be notified and signs will be placed along
neighboring roadways and at park visitor centers to notify the public.
National Park Service personnel will be assisted by other federal land management agencies to carry out the prescribed burns.
Portions of the park’s South Unit Scenic Drive as well as Jones Creek and Paddock Creek trails may be temporarily closed for visitor safety.