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April 02, 2019

Valley Forge National Park burning 135 acres of meadows this week

The fire operation will help control invasive plant species. It begins Tuesday and could take a week to complete

Wildlife Forest Fires
Valley Forge national park invasive species Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

U.S. National Park Services officials are conducting a controlled burn at Valley Forge National Park, setting fires to 135 acres of meadows in order to control invasive plant species growing in those areas. The fires will impact access to some areas of the park.

Firefighters and officials with the National Park Service are setting fire to meadows in Valley Forge National Park this week as part of a controlled burn to combat invasive species of plants. 

Officials are warning neighbors and other locals that on Tuesday and Wednesday the park is conducting the prescribed fire operations in two large fields. The process began 10 a.m. Tuesday and could take up to one week to complete.

RELATED: Penn State Forest fire grows to 8,000 acres burning in New Jersey

The fires will burn through 135 acres of meadows along Valley Forge Road and Gulph Road. The targeted area is the Grand Parade, which is a high priority habitat area with a diverse mix of both native and non-native plant species.

Prescribed burns are often used to help officials assess and control invasive plant species. In this case, Valley Forge officials are looking for the Oriental bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, Himalayan Blackberry, and Callery pear, according to the NPS.

Certain trails and areas of the park will also be closed during the operation. For those interested in seeing the controlled fires, the park has a map of designated viewing areas. And for anyone headed out for a hike, here's where to avoid:

Von Steuben Statue and Maurice Stephen House Parking Areas, Field 1
North Inner Line Drive, Field 1
Grand Parade Trail from the North End of Baptist Trace to Maurice Stephens House, Field 1
Baptist Trace Trail from Gulph Road to Route 23, Field 1
"Underlook Trail” from Baptist Trace to the Grand Parade Trail, Field 1
Chapel Parking Lot, Field 23
Chapel Trail, Field 23

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