The Forest Service has plans to burn nearly 4,000 acres of forestland in Rockingham and Page counties next year. And it wants you to know all about it.
The prescribed burn could take place as early as next spring.
The Forest Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will hold an open house from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Shenandoah Town Hall in Shenandoah.
The open house will provide residents with details of the so-called Cub Run prescribed burn. Those attending will have the opportunity to speak with firefighting specialists, and to review maps of the proposed burn area.
The burn would encompass approximately 4,000 acres on Massanutten Mountain, including portions of Second and Third mountains, and Fourth Mountain from Boone’s Run to Pitt Springs Run. The area in question is part of George Washington National Forest.
The goal of the burn is to “improve wildlife habitat, promote healthy forests, and help protect communities from potentially large, high-intensity wildfires,” according to a release from the Forest Service.
Last year, a forest fire on Massanutten Mountain in Shenandoah and Warren counties consumed over 1,200 acres of the GW.
The forest is dependent on fire to remain healthy and to provide adequate habitat for native plants and animals, including oak and pine seedlings, white-tailed deer, black bear, turkey and quail, along with several species of migratory birds. The flora and fauna “benefit from forest openings and increased food and cover that flourish after a fire,” the release from the Forest Service said.
For those who cannot attend the open house, details will be provided on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/gwj .