BRUNSWICK — Several acres of blueberry barrens on a farm near downtown Brunswick and Bowdoin College , will be set on fire as part of a prescribed burn that will be overseen by the Brunswick Fire Department and the Maine Forest Service.

The burn, which will likely take place this week or in early April, was announced by The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, which owns the 321-acre Crystal Spring Farm on Pleasant Hill Road.

Land Trust officials said the burn at the farm will help preserve a rare ecological community called the Little Bluestem Sandplain. Those communities grow on flat sandy plains with dry, acidic soils dominated by lowbush blueberries.

That type of grassland community used to exist in southern Maine and coastal New England but has become exceedingly rare as its habitat has been overrun by development or forestland.

Prescribed burns are used to maintain or restore natural communities that would otherwise disappear. The burn will also serve as a training exercise for firefighters.

“For thousands of years, fire was a natural force that shaped our landscape and contributed to species diversity. Native Americans routinely used fire to improve habitat for hunting and clearing land for agriculture,” said Steve Walker, a member of the Land Trust’s board of directors.

The Land Trust said the date of the burn, which will be announced two or three days in advance, will depend on weather conditions.

Neighbors and institutions are being notified. The public will not be allowed in the burn area.