No additional burning planned at this time
Incident: Red Cedar Reduction Prescribed Fire
Chickasaw National Recreation Area received precipitation on Feb 25. No additional burning is planned at this time. Approximately 2,380 total acres have been treated since February 1, 2013. Fire managers may burn pockets of unburned fuel within the perimeter of burn units treated so far when conditions are favorable. Fire mangers may also burn approximately 300 additional acres in the South Boundary burn unit when conditions are favorable.
These prescribed fires burned slash from thinned eastern red cedar cut during the summer and fall of 2010 and 2012 as part of a $1.4-million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project. This eastern redcedar reduction project will open up views around the park, improve wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire hazard, conserve water in the Arbuckle Simpson aquifer, and reduce pollen levels.
The National Park Service's prescribed fire program helps protect local communities by reducing the buildup of vegetation near homes along the park boundary. This will help minimize the intensity and reduce the spread of unplanned wildfires in the future. These prescribed burns are also promoting the natural ecosystem's ability to thrive. The areas burned will return to their natural state of mosaic grasses and savanna, with a combination of grassland and woodland in which trees are widely scattered. Native grasses are highly adaptive to Oklahoma's climate and will withstand future fires and drought. Habitat improvement from the fires will also contribute to increases in species such as deer and turkey and thereby improve hunting opportunities.
Maps, photographs and additional information about the Red Cedar Reduction prescribed burn at Chickasaw National Recreation Area are available online at http://inciweb.org/incident/3316/.