The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing to conduct a prescribed fire at Chickamauga Battlefield the week of March 27, depending on weather conditions. The planned fire will be on approximately 153 acres north of Viniard-Alexander Road. This will be the first of five prescribed fires taking place in the next several years.
The goals of this fire are to restore, protect, and maintain the historic and cultural landscapes; restore and maintain fire adapted plant communities; reduce hazard fuel accumulations; eradicate invasive woody and exotic vegetation species which compete with native vegetation and to maintain and promote suitable conditions for limestone glade communities. This will be the first ever prescribed fire conducted at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Assisting the National Park Service with this burn are the Georgia Division of Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, the US Forest Service, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, local Catoosa County and Walker County fire fighters and Conservation Legacy Women and Veterans crews from the region.
Many factors align to conduct a prescribed fire and ensure public and firefighter safety. The timing of the prescribed fire is dependent on weather conditions being within required wind, temperature, and relative humidity parameters. Wildland and local fire engines, fire fighters and Viniard-Alexander Road will serve to create buffers and fire breaks to ensure the fire is contained. Smoke will be visible during the burn, but we do not expect any long duration, major impacts to the park or surrounding area due to the small size of the unit and prescription parameters. Upon completion of the fire activity, wildland firefighters will continue to monitor the area to ensure the fire is contained.
During the prescribed fire, Viniard-Alexander Road will be closed between LaFayette Road and Alexander Bridge Road. All trails within the burn area will be closed until firing operations are complete. Additional park roads may need to be closed temporarily if smoke conditions reduce visibility.
For more information about Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, please contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706 866-9241, ext. 123, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423 821-7786 or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/chch.