Northeast Region Fire Program
Northeast Region
firefighters discussing fire management
How does fire impact me?

Controlled burning on national wildlife refuges and other lands enhances your visits to these areas. By using fire as a management tool, we promote:

  • Photography, wildlife observation, interpretation, and education by maintaining natural areas and the plants and animals that live in them. For example, burning meadows can benefit grassland breeding birds such as bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows, and Eastern meadowlarks
  • Hunting by creating access for hunters and maintaining habitat for game species

View a time lapse video of how we burned grasslands at the National Conservation Training Center in
Shephersdstown, West Virginia to benefint grassland breeding birds and to reduce wildfire risk.

Controlled burning helps reduce risk of wildfires

Controlled burning can also make you safer on national wildlife refuges and adjacent areas because they help reduce the risk of wildfire. In natural areas, plants grow, die, and decompose at different rates. You may walk through a forest that is relatively open, or one that is cluttered with live brush, and dead branches, leaves, pine needles, and logs. The more live and dead plant material near the forest floor, thconditions. These treatments also create safety buffers that protect adjacent homes and property from fires that start elsewhere.

Fire Management in your Area

Are you interested in what's going on in your area with regard to fire management on US Fish and Wildlife Service lands? This section of our site will update you on fire activities throughout the northeast. Please note that while we do our best to make sure this is updated as often as needed, there may be gaps in posting information.

If you have specific questions about fire on a refuge or Service lands in your area, please contact the refuge directly, or contact our Regional Fire Program 413-253-8569. For large wildfires, please visit the Incident Information System.

New England New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania Maryland-Delaware Virginia-West Virginia


Last updated: April 25, 2014