University of Delaware

Jan. 26: Prescribed burning

Prescribed burning topic of program at Department of Agriculture


9:40 a.m., Jan. 14, 2013--A presentation on prescribed burning will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Delaware Department of Agriculture on U.S. 13 south of Dover.

The presentation is cosponsored by the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the state Department of Agriculture, the Sierra Club and the Society of Natural History of Delaware.

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Prescribed burning has been used widely in pine woods, such as the New Jersey Pine Barrens, serpentine barrens, long leaf pines, pinyon pines and ponderosa pines of the West. Removal of excess litter can prevent crown fires that can kill the trees. Removal of excess leaf litter can allow buried seeds to germinate and provide bare soil where new seeds can land and germinate. Its use in deciduous forests has been open to question.

Rob Line of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will describe his use of prescribed burning in the pines of Cape Henlopen. He will also describe the exacting conditions of wind and moisture needed to prevent escape of the fire, like the one that left Bandelier National Monument and burned parts of Los Alamos, N.M.

For carpooling from Newark, meet at the park and ride lot at the intersection of routes 896 and 4 (South College Avenue and Chestnut Hill Road) at 11:15 a.m.

Reservations can be made by contacting Al Matlack at or 302-239-5383.

Another event will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, when Matlack will discuss unmanned aircraft and their use in monitoring wildlife and crops.

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