A prescribed burn is scheduled to take place in the city watershed property off Gambrill Park Road between November 8 and 10, 2021.
The purpose is to restore a stand of pitch pine that is about 90 years old, at the end of its life span. The prescribed burn will reduce the duff layer, burn competing vegetation, and help open the pitch pine cones, some of which need fire to open. Pitch pine seeds are a nutritious food source for wildlife and burning will help the new generation of seedlings to take root.
The fire will create smoke on Catoctin Mountain, but the burn will be a low, controlled flame. Maryland Department of Natural Resources fire staff will be on hand to direct the fire. They will have trucks to pull water from the fire pond adjacent to the burn area and equipment to help enlarge fire lines if needed. There are no homes or other structures in this area.
Gambrill Park Road will be closed between its junction with Fishing Creek Road and Gate R6 during the burn. All trails in the northeast section of the watershed also will be closed.
The prescribed burn will proceed only if conditions are favorable on a date in the three-day window.
Please see the map for burn location and temporary road closures. Contact Jenny Willoughby or the City’s DPW Dispatch with questions: email@example.com or 301-600-1440.