VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The National Park Service (NPS) will be conducting prescribed fires to manage vegetation in select areas of Vicksburg National Military Park. The prescribed fires will take place from Thursday, January 26 to Saturday, January 28, 2023, weather dependent.

Areas for prescribed fires will include large grassy areas in the South Loop near the Illinois Memorial and Shirley House, the western slope of Fort Hill and along Graveyard Road. The area for the prescribed burns will include approximately 113 acres. 

Prescribed fires allow fire managers to conduct a safe burn under optimal conditions with sufficient resources available to meet specific objectives for the management of battlefield resources.

The overall objectives are to maintain the conditions of the battlefield as experienced by the soldiers who fought here; perpetuate the open space character of the landscape; maintain wildlife habitat, control invasive exotic species; reduce shrub and woody species components and reduce fuels in wooded areas to reduce fire hazard.  

No prolonged road closures are anticipated. It is possible that smoke conditions might reduce visibility to a level that would require a temporary closure of limited areas to ensure public and firefighter safety.

On the days of the burns, runners and walkers are encouraged to use alternative routes due to the potential for smoke.