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Prescribed Fire Brings Life to the Wayne National Forest (Lawrence County)

Pine Creek Prescribed Burn Prescribed Fire
News – 3/1/2018

PEDRO, OH (March 1, 2018) – 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.

The Wayne National Forest Ironton Ranger District announces they will conduct prescribed burning operations on 2,025 acres between March 1st and May 31, 2018 in Lawrence County.

“Fire rejuvenates the forest. It increases nutrient availability, favors some plants over others, and can remove some of the leaf litter and smaller trees and brush,” said Ironton District Ranger Tim Slone. “This lets more sunlight into the forest floor, which is important for regenerating oak trees, the dominant tree in Ohio forests and is essential to Ohio’s wildlife.”

Areas include:

Pine Creek Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 528 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Decatur Township, in the vicinity of Howard Ridge Road.

Handley Branch Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 230 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Symmes Township, in the vicinity of County Road 4.

Bluegrass Prescribed Burn
Size: Approximately 1,267 acres
Location: Lawrence County, Aid Township, in the vicinity of County Road 19.

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.

To learn more about prescribed burning on the Wayne, contact the Wayne National Forest Public Affairs Office at (740) 753-0862.

About the Wayne National Forest
Administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the Wayne National Forest is one of 155 national forests nationwide. As the only national forest in Ohio, the Wayne offers numerous avenues for connecting with the natural world through its 244,263 acres of varied landscape. Whether your interests lie more in outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking or camping, or include learning about the unique natural and cultural heritage of southeast Ohio, the fields and forests of the Wayne welcome you.

To discover more about the Wayne National Forest, visit Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook via

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 20 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

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


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