A prescribed burn at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge is set to begin the week of Sept. 23.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Zone Fire staff, local fire departments and the Delaware Forest Service, began a landscape burning program at the refuge in March 2017.

This year’s burn plan includes approximately 700 acres of successional fields and marsh containing the invasive plant phragmites within the western portion of Unit II — between Fowler Beach Road and Prime Hook Beach Road. Burns will begin the week of Sept. 23 through Oct. 21, contingent on burn conditions that can change hourly.

The purposes for this year’s burn is to set back field succession to early stages to benefit grassland dwelling birds, counteract against undesired non-native plant species and remove accumulated wildland hazardous fuels as anticipated in the refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan. The use of prescribed fire is an effective and cost efficient method to accomplish these objectives. Trained prescribed burning specialists will conduct the burns and monitor its progress.

Weather conditions such as rainfall, wind speed and direction will determine when the burning will occur. Prime Hook Refuge’s website will be updated regularly regarding daily plans.

For more, call 684-8419 or visit fws.gov/refuge/Prime_Hook.