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Fall 2017 Prescribed Burns (WNF)

Unit Information

Wayne National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Nelsonville, OH 45764

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This incident is no longer being updated.

Fall 2017 Ironton Ranger District Prescribed Burn MapImage options: [ Full Size ]

Fall marks the beginning of the forest’s prescribed burn season, during which professionals plan to burn up to 2,059 acres between October 30th and December 31st, 2017, on the Athens and Ironton Ranger Districts

Ironton Ranger District

Lake Vesuvius Prescribed Burn

Where: Lawrence County, Elizabeth Township, in the vicinity of Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area

Size: Approximately 300 acres

Closures/Restrictions: None

Handley Branch Prescribed Burn

Where: Lawrence County, Symmes Township, in the vicinity of County Road 4

Size: Approximately 230 acres

Closures/Restrictions: None

Bluegrass Prescribed Burn

Where: Lawrence County, Aid Township, in the vicinity of County Road 19

Size: Approximately 1,267 acres

Closures/Restrictions: None

Athens Ranger District-Marietta Unit

Dart Prescribed Burns

Where: Washington County, Lawrence and Independence Townships, in the vicinity of Felter Road

Size: Approximately 145 acres, broken into manageable blocks each day

Closures/Restrictions: None

Bolivian Run Prescribed Burn

Where: Washington County, Lawrence Township, in the vicinity of County Road 9

Size: Approximately 117 acres

Closures/Restrictions: None

Why we Burn:

Fire helps maintain healthy oak forests, according to scientists who study native plants, birds and other wildlife. That’s why the Wayne National Forest uses fire as a tool to restore southern Ohio forests.

Fire rejuvenates the forest. It increases nutrient availability, favors some plants over others, and can remove some leaf litter and smaller trees and brush. This lets more sunlight into the forest floor, which is important for oak trees, the dominant tree in Ohio forests, and many sun-loving plants.

Prescribed fires are performed under specific weather conditions and are designed to mimic fire that historically occurred on the forest.

The Wayne National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and uses environmental factors including temperature, humidity, atmosphere stability, wind-direction and speed as well as smoke disbursement. If any of these conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.

By bringing fire back to the forest, the Wayne National Forest hopes to:

• Encourage the growth of a diverse array of plant life, including sun-loving plants and grasses.

• Ensure oaks remain the keystone species in our forests. Oaks provide food for about 100 different animals. Using fire to bring light into our forests helps oaks grow. Without fire, shade-tolerant species will take over and eventually replace oak as the dominant species in our forest.

• Protect human property by reducing the amount of down, dead wood in the forest. That way if a wildfire happens, it would be less intense, and potentially easier to control.

• Perpetuate oak barrens and woodlands found within the forest. These remnant plant communities provide habitat for several early-successional species. Maintaining these open woodland conditions with prescribed fire increases biodiversity in both plant and animal species.

Notifications of upcoming prescribed burns are provided regularly by news releases throughout the season and also by the following online resources:




Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypePrescribed Fire