Manassas National Battlefield Park

Photo by Greg Hambrick

The Manassas National Battlefield Park is preparing for its first prescribed fire sometime between April 3-13. The fire will burn up to 45 acres of open fields and shrubs adjacent to the eastern edge of the Brawner Farm area.

This is an opportunity to restore a significant segment of the battlefield back to its appearance during the Civil War, according to park Superintendent Brandon Bies. Fire goals include restoring historic battlefield viewsheds, maintaining wildlife habitat, and controlling woody and invasive species.

The timing of the fire is dependent on weather conditions, including the wind, temperature and relative humidity.

“Through the use of prescribed fire, native grasses will flourish, and soon visitors will experience the battlefield landscape like it has not been seen in over a century,” Bies said. “Safety is our top priority and we will only conduct the planned burn if conditions are appropriate.”

Wildland fire engines, firefighters and mowed lines work in concert to create buffers and fire breaks to ensure the fire is contained, according to a news release.

National Park Service staff will monitor air quality and smoke impacts including visibility on nearby roads. Following the active burn, wildland firefighters will continue to patrol the area to ensure the fire is completely out.

More information, including a map of the project area, is available on the park website.

(3) comments


"Awesome!" said Nero. "AAAAHHHH!" said wildlife and indigenous vegetation. Next up: Superintendent bans toilet paper from park, demanding authenticity.


"The fire will burn up to 45 acres of open fields and shrubs adjacent to the eastern edge of the Brawner Farm area."

For those that remember this is the same area that one of the park's previous director had 400-500 acres of 100+ year old pristine woods destroyed (chopped down). he also was a big supporter of building the Bi-County Parkway give away to Loudon County.

Several years have passed now during which time at most 1/2 dozen visitors expressed any delight about the devastation. "Wow, it's almost like it was during the Civil War...!"

Ed Pa

First time I've agreed with you :) The scrub back there is very untidy but burning is not a good way to manage it. The previous guy also did away with the picnic area and moved it somewhere completely inaccessible and closed the parking area across from the visitors center just to make it like it was. Add in some live fire if you want it how it was during the battle...

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