USA — The staff at Stones River National Battlefield plans to burn six areas totaling about 38 acres before May 7. These prescribed burns are a part of the parks Fire Management Plan, which was developed with public and professional participation in 2003.
The six areas to be burned include Redoubt Brannan on West College Street across from the old armory, the area surrounding the Hazen Monument including the Round Forest, one site on the McFadden Farm unit northwest of the intersection of Battlefield Parkway and Van Cleve Lane, and three sites on the main battlefield south of the visitor center at 3501 Old Nashville Highway.
Prescribed fire is a useful and cost effective tool for managing Stones River National Battlefields landscape. The goals of the burns are to reduce fuel loads, promote the growth of native species including grasses that stabilize the earthen fort and rare species in the main body of the park, and control invasive exotic plants. The burns will be conducted only if the weather conditions fall within a narrow range that provides for the greatest safety and best smoke management. Specially trained wildland firefighters from the Natchez Trace Parkway and Stones River National Battlefield will manage the prescribed burns. Some areas of the park will be closed at times during the two to three days needed to complete the work. The visitor center will remain open regular hours of 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. daily.
During prescribed fire operations, smoke warning signs will be placed along roads adjacent to the park as a precaution. Motorists should travel at a safe speed with headlights on when smoke is visible.
Local news media will be notified as soon as the days and times for the burns are determined. Murfreesboro Fire and Police Departments will be on site to provide assistance.