Environmental agencies plan controlled burn for South Plymouth wildlife refuge

If weather conditions allow, firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and other partners will be conducting prescribed burning on Massasoit National Wildlife Refuge to reduce the risk of wildfire to nearby homes and to improve wildlife habitat.

The burn area is is immediately south of Wildcat Lane, Strawberry Hill Road, Jason’s Lane, Evelyn Road and Crabtree Road,  and west of the junction of Alden and Long Pond Roads. Firefighters previously burned part of this area in 2007 and 2010. In 2015, additional fire breaks were constructed to facilitate the safe burning of additional parts of the refuge. If conditions allow, it is possible for burning to take place anytime from now until May 15, 2017.

Burning in a controlled manner under predetermined weather conditions safely reduces buildup of leaf litter, dead wood, and other plant material that could otherwise fuel a wildfire and make it burn dangerously fast. Because of the high risk to communities from wildfire on federal lands, Plymouth was named a federal “Community at Risk” in 2001.

Signs along Alden Road to warn motorists of a burn in progress and send a reverse 911 message the day of the burn to alert residents. Fire engines will be staged in the subdivision north of the burn, where pitch pine limbs were cut, white pines removed, and the ground mowed in a 100-foot buffer to reduce risk of fire spreading to homes.

What is this?