TNC to conduct prescribed fire off Meeting House Way Monday

Smoke is expected to be visible over portions of Edgartown Monday.

In this file photo, conservation workers conduct a prescribed burn in Katama. – MV Times file photo

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is scheduled to conduct a prescribed fire off Meeting House Way in Edgartown. Winds are predicted to be from the southwest so the smoke is expected to travel toward Morning Glory Farm and the Triangle area of Edgartown, according to a press release

TNC coordinates the prescribed burns in conjunction with personnel from Northeast Forest and Fire Management LLC, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Bureau of Forest Fire Control, The Trustees of Reservations, and Mass Audubon.

The Vineyard sandplain, the flat southern and central portion of the Island, has a centuries-long history of frequent fire, which has shaped the ecology of sandplain habitats, according to TNC. Fire suppression since the mid-20th century has interrupted this pattern, allowing globally important grassland and shrubland habitats to grow up into forest and threatening rare wildlife that is adapted to frequent fire.

Prescribed burning uses carefully controlled fire to restore or maintain fire-dependent natural communities. Prescribed fire can also enhance public safety by reducing fuel in flammable, overgrown habitat, TNC said.

Conservation groups, volunteers, landowners and Vineyard fire departments regularly cooperate in prescribed burns at Katama Airfield, Wasque, Long Point, Manuel F. Correllus State Forest and the grasslands of Chilmark’s south shore.