Hoosier National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Bedford, IN 47421
Bedford, IN – February 22, 2018. Fire managers on the Hoosier National Forest (NF) intend to begin utilizing prescribed fire as a forest management tool in the coming weeks. All project initiation is dependent upon several factors, including but not limited to favorable weather and site conditions. Fire managers will be evaluating conditions to ensure compliance with policy and utilization of best management practices. Test burns will occur prior to igniting any unit to monitor fire behavior and smoke lift and dispersion.
At this time there are areas planned in Brown, Crawford, Jackson, Lawrence, Orange, Martin, and Perry Counties. Each of the areas has been identified to improve wildlife habitat or restore woodlands. In some cases wetlands or barrens are being restored; in others, the fire is used for wildlife opening or dam maintenance.
There are 20 sites that are available to burn; encompassing a total of 4700 acres. The more areas the Hoosier NF has ready to burn, the more likely on any given day and weather forecast the National Forest will be able to find an area that is appropriate to burn. With only a limited number of days before green-up the Hoosier NF, staff want to maximize their opportunities. Wind direction is often the limiting factor due to adjacent roads or private homes so the Hoosier NF prioritizes areas.
Each treatment area will be closed to the public on the day of the burn and for some time after the burn until the area is considered safe. If there are a significant number of burning trees in the interior of a burn unit, the area may be closed for several days for public safety. Trails may be temporarily closed if burn areas are in close proximity. Signs will be posted along the fire line and at any logical entry points into the area.
The exact date of each burn is dependent on weather and fuel conditions. Forest staff notifies the public in the immediate area of the prescribed burn. If Forest neighbors wish to know the specific date of the ignition, they can call the Forest dispatch office to be informed once the decision is made to burn. Anyone with medical issues who might be affected by smoke, such as asthma or emphysema, who live immediately around where a prescribed burn is planned, is encouraged to contact the Forest Service.
For questions on the prescribed burns, to request notification, or to report medical conditions please contact the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center Dispatcher at 812-547-9262. Up-to-date information and maps can also be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5645/.
Harris – 91 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Ogala – 131 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Fork Ridge – 659 Acres – Oak-hickory regeneration
Bonds Complex, “J” unit – 15 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Bonds Complex, “Bottle” unit – 40 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Bonds Complex, “Bonds” unit – 70 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Hagar – 105 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Roland – 268 Acres – wetland maintenance and wildlife habitat improvement
Wesley Chapel South – 88 acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Butler Bridge Complex:
-“Schoolhouse” unit – 5 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
-“Peggy Hollow” unit – 39 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
-“Buck Creek” unit - 23 Acres – wetland maintenance and wildlife habitat improvement
Harvey Flat – 44 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Deuchars – 348 Acres – oak and hickory regeneration
Mifflin - 46 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Diamond/House Branch – 981 Acres – woodland restoration
Grove North – 477 Acres – oak and hickory regeneration
Haskins - 122 Acres – wildlife habitat improvement
Saddle Dam – 14 Acres – vetch removal
Rattlesnake North and South – 1077 Acres – woodland restoration
The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes twenty states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R9.
The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/.
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