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Maryland Department of Natural Resources Conducting Controlled Burn at Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area

Burn Provides Numerous Environmental Benefits

Photo of staff member burning a small brush area to establish a fire line

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is conducting a controlled burn at Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) between now and February 28 as weather and other conditions allow. UPDATE: Burn operations have been extended into March. 

Residents and visitors to the area are advised they may see smoke in the area southwest of Rawlings, and be assured it is not a forest fire. This burn will consist of a low, controlled flame targeting underbrush and ground cover debris.

Access to the WMA at the primitive camping area and at Middle Ridge Road will be limited during the burn, but will reopen as soon as the burn is completed. The purpose of the burn is to improve habitat for wildlife and to restore stands of pitch pine and table mountain pine that are more than 90 years old. 

The fire will cause pinecones that will provide food for wildlife, and help a new generation of seedlings to grow. Other benefits of the burn include reduced fuel for wildfires and improved regeneration of oak.

DNR wildlife and forestry experts will be directing the burn, Trained wildland firefighters and wildland fire trucks and other equipment will be present to make sure the burn is done safely and efficiently, and will establish fire lines to prevent uncontrolled spread. There are no homes or other structures near the fire.