Deliberate fires slated for area around Concord airport this fall

By Monitor staff

Published: 08-31-2023 6:47 PM

Portions of the scrubland around Concord Municipal Airport will be burned this fall to help wildlife including the state butterfly, the endangered Karner blue.

The controlled burn in what is known as the Concord pine barrens, a rare ecosystem in New Hampshire, will happen at some time between  Sept. 1 and Nov. 15, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game. Wet weather has kept the state in the lowest category of concern about wildfire all summer, reducing concern about controlling the fires.

Prescribed burning has long taken place in New Hampshire for such things as improving the growth of wild blueberries, including an upcoming burn scheduled for Blue Job State Forest in Farmington. The other main reason – like the burn in Concord – is to restore or maintain wildlife habitat. In 2009, New Hampshire became the first state in New England to establish a Prescribed Fire Council, a government-sanctioned group that establishes best practices for deliberate fires and helps identify areas that can benefit from them. 

The burns in Concord are intended to halt the overgrowth of some undeveloped areas around the airport, which would eventually make it unsuitable for some rare and important wildlife. It also helps plants including wild lupines that thrive after fires.

 

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