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Mailing Address 

Lenape National Wildlife Refuge Complex
1547 Route 565
Sussex, New Jersey 07461

Staff may be reached by phone from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 973-702-7266. General e-mail inquiries may be directed to

Prescribed Fire at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
2024 Prescribed Fire Notification for Wallkill River NWR

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service wishes to inform the community that we plan on implementing prescribed fires in the coming weeks at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge in Vernon and Wantage Townships, NJ. The planned sites, approximately 800 acres, include several tracts of grasslands, shrubs, and woodlands in and around the Refuge Headquarters and Dagmar-Dale Nature Trail; grasslands and woodlands between Lake Wallkill Road and Timberdoodle Trail, from Owens Station road to Kelly Road and the Hidden Ponds area between Lake Wallkill Road and Timberdoodle Trail; and grasslands and woodlands between State Route 284/Lower Unionville Road and the Wallkill River south of Bassetts Bridge Road.

The actual dates will depend on favorable weather and atmospheric conditions – including relative humidity, fuel moisture, and wind speed and direction to achieve the desired objectives and for the smoke to rise and disperse - as well as the availability of firefighters. Each prescribed burn prescribed burn
A prescribed burn is the controlled use of fire to restore wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire risk, or achieve other habitat management goals. We have been using prescribed burn techniques to improve species habitat since the 1930s.

Learn more about prescribed burn
is expected to be completed within one day with active burning possibly over several days. Trails and facilities may be temporarily closed while burning is underway. 

Prescribed fire is an approved tool throughout the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge System and is part of the Refuge’s fire and habitat management programs. 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 warm-season grasses.  Prescribed burns also reduce the occurrence of and risk associated with future wildfires by removing standing dead vegetation that burns easily. 

Air quality and smoke will be monitored to minimize impacts to the surrounding areas.  Local emergency personnel, including the police and fire departments will be notified prior to the prescribed burn.  A minimum of 14 firefighters and 5 fire apparatus are required to implement the prescribed burn.  Visitors and residents are reminded that smoke may be visible after the burn is completed, but personnel will monitor and patrol the area until the prescribe burn is declared out.  Assistance may be provided by firefighters from other U.S. Fish and Wildlife units, the National Park Service, and the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. The Refuge has safely conducted prescribed burns, as recently as last year.

For additional information, please view our website

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

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