Hoosier Plans Fall Prescribed Burns
Bedford, IN – October 23, 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 prescribed burns are 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 ignition of any unit to monitor fire behavior and smoke lift and dispersion. Up-to-date information and maps can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6246/.
At this time there are areas planned in Jackson, Martin, Orange, and Perry Counties. Each of the areas has been identified to improve wildlife habitat or restore woodlands. In some cases wetlands, woodlands, or barrens are being restored; in others, the fire is used to enhance oak-hickory regeneration or to maintain early successional habitat in wildlife openings
There are 18 sites that are available to burn; encompassing a total of approximately 4,500 acres. The more burn units 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 within prescription to burn. With only a limited number of days before winter precipitation 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. Hoosier NF fire managers work closely with the National Weather Service to pick the best days to burn. Fall weather suitable to prescribed burning can be unreliable and there is a reasonable chance that most of these burns will roll-over to the “spring” season should they not be burned this fall.
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. 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 conditions who might be affected by smoke, such as asthma or emphysema, who lives 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.
Fork Ridge; 657 Acres for woodland restoration
Maumee Openings; 4 wildlife openings totaling 53 acres for early successional habitat maintenance
Peggy Hollow and Buck Creek; 2 wildlife openings totaling 68 acres for early successional habitat maintenance
Union Cemetery North and South; 2 burn units totaling 183 acres for early successional habitat maintenance
Antioch; 17 acres for early successional habitat maintenance
Hagar; 105 acres for early successional habitat restoration
Rolland; 268 acres for early successional habitat improvement and wetland maintenance
Wesley Chapel South; 105 acres for early successional habitat restoration
Gerald: 95 acres for oak and hickory regeneration
Mill Creek North; 18 acres of early successional habitat maintenance
Clover Lick/Talley; 1120 acres for barrens restoration
Long Run; 757 acres for woodland restoration
Diamond/House Branch; 981 acres for 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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