Monongahela National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
200 Sycamore Street
Elkins, WV 26241
Elkins, W.Va., November 22, 2021 – This month Monongahela National Forest successfully completed three prescribed burns on about 1,000 acres in Greenbrier, Pendleton and Pocahontas counties. These prescribed burns are helping to re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.
“Fall is a good time to do a prescribed burn,” said Aaron Kendall, fire management officer for Monongahela National Forest. “Prescribed burning when conditions are right produces a slower moving burn and, in addition to providing ecological benefits, helps to reduce leaf litter and other hazardous fuels.”
Prescribed burns in the Big Mountain area help maintain the oak forest, promote oak regeneration, and will eventually increase mast that is crucial for wildlife.
The County Line and North Fork burns, in the southern part of the national forest, help create conditions that favor oak-hickory and oak-pine communities and reduce vegetation in the understory resulting in increased wildlife habitat diversity, increased mast, and ultimately a healthier forest. Many species also prefer a more open forest floor for breeding and foraging, which can result from periodic prescribed burning. In addition, the County Line and North Fork prescribed burns benefit the endangered Indiana bat by providing snags for roosting and encouraging flowering plants which attract bugs the bats like to eat.
Maps and photos of the prescribed burns can be found on InciWeb:
Firefighters from Monongahela National Forest were assisted by several other organizations during prescribed burning this fall. Many thanks to the following groups:
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