Heidi Holman, NH Fish and Game: (603) 271-3018
Michael Matson, Forest Ranger Captain: (603) 271-2214
September 9, 2022

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Forests and Lands, with support from the New Hampshire Army National Guard, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the City of Concord, will conduct a prescribed burn in areas on and near the Concord Municipal Airport grounds this fall. The prescribed burn may occur as early as September 15, or as late as November 15. The date will be finalized when the weather and atmospheric conditions are determined to be safe.

While a variety of rare species are associated with both the early and late successional stages of the Concord Pine Barrens habitat associated with the airport, the most critically imperiled species are found in the grassy-opening stage. Fire is a tool used in restoring or converting habitat conditions that are capable of supporting rare and important wildlife, including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, New Hampshire’s official state butterfly. The prescribed burn will also reduce dangerous accumulations of wood debris that could result in a wild and unmanageable fire if left unchecked.

“Planning and preparation are integral to successful prescribed burning,” said Heidi Holman, a nongame biologist at NH Fish and Game who oversees the project. “Strategic organization allows us to ensure that conditions and available resources are suitable to safely implement this invaluable management practice to restore the Concord Pine Barrens.”

The prescribed burn will take place within the Conservation Zones on the Concord Municipal Airport. This is allowed under a state-issued burn permit, which also serves as a smoke management permit (RSA 227-L17).

Precautions will be taken to limit smoke and to ensure that the prescribed burn stays within the boundaries of the controlled burning area. In addition, at least one fire vehicle with water tank will be available on-site at all times as part of safety protocols. However, neighbors should recognize that atmospheric conditions could change, and smoke may temporarily impede visibility. The smoke poses no imminent threat to people’s health or the community.