A heads-up for residents in and around Galloway Township: a large prescribed burn is scheduled for Thursday.

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According to a press release, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge intends to conduct a prescribed burn on March 9th. Approximately 250 acres within the Wildlife Drive impoundment in Galloway Township will be burned.

The burn will reduce the stand density of the invasive plant Phragmites australis, also known as the “common reed,” making it more accessible to herbicide applications on new growth scheduled for August. This two-pronged approach is known to effectively reduce and control this invasive plant while encouraging native plant establishment for the beneficial use of wildlife.

Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway Township NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway Township NJ - Photo: Google Maps

The Wildlife Drive will be closed while the burn is in progress and until “all clear” is given by firefighters on the scene.

What exactly is a prescribed burn?

Prescribed fire is an approved tool throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System and is part of the refuge’s fire and habitat management program. The objectives of the prescribed burns are to maintain and enhance migratory and wintering habitat for songbirds and foraging raptors by removing or reducing undesirable plants and woody vegetation and encouraging growth of native plants. Prescribed burns also reduce the occurrence of, and risk associated with, future wildfires by removing standing dead vegetation that burns easily.

Check for other prescribed burns

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service maintains an active Twitter feed and posts daily updates on burns that are scheduled across the state on an interactive map.

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