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Prescribed Fire Brings Life to the Wayne National Forest-Wash. & Athens Co.

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

NELSONVILLE, 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 Athens Ranger District announces they plan to conduct prescribed burning operations on 1,282 acres between March 1st and May 31, 2018, on its Athens and Marietta Unit.

“Our forests have a lot of tall oak trees, but the ground is covered in red maple and plants that thrive in low light conditions. Prescribed fire is an important tool we have to help change these conditions,” said Athens District Ranger Jason Reed. “Our professional firefighters use fire to increase plant diversity on the ground and allow more light to reach the smaller oaks, so that they can continue to grow tall to maintain a healthy, diverse forest that is essential to Ohio’s wildlife,”

Areas include:

Dart Prescribed Burn

Size: Approximately 145 acres

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

Bolivian Run Prescribed Burn

Size: Approximately 117 acres

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

Upper Bailey Prescribed burn

Size: Approximately 709 acres

Location: Athens County, Buchtel and Chauncey Townships, in vicinity of Utah Ridge Road.

Gore-Greendale Prescribed burn

Size: Approximately 311 acres

Location: Hocking County, Mayville Township, in vicinity of Gore-Greendale Road.

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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