MONTGOMERY - The USDA Forest Service is conducting prescribed (controlled) burns during the winter and spring seasons on approximately 134,500 acres throughout Alabama’s four national forests – Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee. The annual management tool is used to reduce the potential for large wildfires by decreasing unwanted vegetation and improving the overall health of Alabama’s national forests. The forest service is asking the public to check the National Forests in Alabama social media accounts and the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/alabama for the latest updates regarding any planned prescribed burns.
Prescribed burning is one of the most effective land management tools to prevent the outbreak and spread of wildfires. The controlled burns also improve habitat for wildlife—including deer, turkey, quail and songbirds—by opening the forest floor up to light and encouraging the growth of native grasses and other plants that provide food and shelter for many species.
“Our prescribed burning program is a targeted approach to reducing flammable vegetation on the landscape known as ‘fuels’ that build upon the forest floor and can feed large wildfires. Reducing these fuels reduces future wildfire impacts in our communities,” said Joe Smith, forest fire management officer with the National Forests in Alabama.
A lot of planning occurs to conduct successful prescribed burns. An exact burn date depends on weather and moisture conditions that best allow for the appropriate burn intensity level and smoke management.
The Bankhead is planning to burn approximately 16,000 acres in Winston and Lawrence counties.
If you have questions about the planned prescribed burns, the Bankhead Forest can be contacted by calling (205) 471-7724.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.