Controlled burn scheduled for Cypress Bridge Swamp

Published 10:55 am Monday, December 3, 2018


Tomorrow, Dec. 4, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will conduct a controlled burn of 175 acres of land in the Cypress Bridge Swamp Natural Area Preserve, which is located just south of U.S. Route 58 (Southampton Parkway) near the highway’s intersection with Route 58 business (Camp Parkway.)

According to Shelby Crouch, senior marketing and public relations specialist for the DCR, the burn will start at around 10 a.m. and should last from four to six hours. However, residents and travelers can expect to see smoke in the air for up to 48 hours.

We do these all the time,” Crouch said.

The purpose in burning this particular area, she said, was to clear the land of debris from when it was last harvested for timber two years ago, in preparation for the planting of longleaf pine trees.

The DCR, the Department of Forestry and other state agencies have been working for years to restore longleaf populations in the Western Tidewater area. Scott Bachman, senior forester for the Department of Forestry’s Blackwater Work Area, which includes Isle of Wight County, Southampton County and the city of Suffolk, had previously remarked to The Tidewater News concerning longleaf pines that the trees were “the pine that built Tidewater” — having been used extensively in the days of wooden sailing ships for hull construction and to make pitch, tar and resins to seal the hulls.

Once the longleaf pines are planted, the DCR will continue to conduct controlled burns regularly.

Longleaf needs controlled burns to really thrive in the area,” Crouch said. “We will be burning every couple of years.”