The Delaware Forest Service is planning a controlled burn on a 43-acre former farm field along U.S. 301 adjacent to the Spring Mill Community near Middletown. Delaware’s Dept. of Transportation (DelDOT) created Dove Nest as its very first “pollinator mitigation site.” The goal of the project was to establish an “early successional habitat” for native birds, bees, and butterflies to address the ongoing loss of farmland to development in the Middletown area. The site was previously burned in March of 2019. Land that is left unmanaged will eventually revert to forestland, and burning is considered the most effective method to prevent trees and invasive species from overtaking the site. DelDOT’s project plan calls for burning the site in late winter or early spring every two to three years.
♦ Read the 301 Rx Burn Fact Sheet
♦ Prescribed fire, also known as “Rx burning,” is an important land management tool to control unwanted vegetation, release native plants, and reduce future fires by removing hazardous fuels.
♦ Rx burns are only “prescribed” when actual site conditions meet pre-identified parameters to maximize safety and reduce smoke.
♦ Factors include temperature, fuel moisture, wind speed and direction, humidity, and proximity to structures and populations.
♦ It is possible that nearby residents and visitors to the area will see or smell smoke. Do not be alarmed. State and local officials have been notified of the burning and will be aware of it.
♦ Individuals who are sensitive to smoke should remain indoors for the duration of the burning. The burn should begin in the morning and conclude by mid-afternoon.
♦ Drivers traveling on U.S. 301 North between Bunker Hill Road and Armstrong Corner Road should expect to slow down and exercise caution. Road signs and lane restrictions will be in place for the safety of drivers and fire staff. Please obey posted notifications.
♦ The prescribed fire will occur when site conditions are deemed most favorable to a safe and successful burning operation. The goal is to complete the burn by the middle of March, 2022.
♦ Because weather conditions, availability of staff and equipment, and other factors are difficult to predict, it is likely the burn could take place on a few days notice.
♦ For email updates on the burn’s date and time, send an email with “301 Burn” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
♦ For general questions and information, call 302-698-4552.
The Delaware Forest Service is fully certified by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) in wildfire suppression and prescribed fire. In 2021, the DFS burned 637 acres of private and public land and also dispatched its 20-person wildfire crew and Type 6 engine to battle blazes in Colorado, California, Montana, and Washington State.