Prescription calls for fire

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — Fire crews conducted controlled burns of vegetation at Jordan Pond House and on the Park Loop Road at Paradise Hill on Thursday last week. The burn planned for an overlook on the Park Loop Road near the West Street Extension in Bar Harbor, known as “The Fire of ’47 Overlook,” above, was postponed to Friday due to wind conditions, Acadia acting fire management officer Fred Mason said.

Small fires are set to burn upon themselves. These prescribed burns are used as a non-chemical tool to control the growth of view-blocking woody vegetation.

“There are tight weather parameters for when we can do this,” Mason said. Humidity, temperature and wind all must be within narrow ranges. Fire danger has been high in the state this week with dry conditions. “We’re looking to consume stuff,” he said, so somewhat dry conditions are necessary to meet the project’s goals.

National Park personnel prefer to conduct these burns on low-visitation days, he said. “It’s getting a lot of things to balance.” Crews are safer on days with less vehicular traffic, and the public is safer if they’re not exposed to the smoke.

Crews performed periodic checks of the burned areas to watch for smoldering or other issues for several days.

U.S. Forest Service and Bar Harbor Fire Department personnel assisted with the burns.

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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