Nearly 1,425 acres of Wayne National Forest will be burned over the next 30 days as part of a habitat management program, forest officials said.
The prescribed burn project area is located in Athens County, north of Ohio 33, east of Nelsonville and west of Chauncey.
The Wayne National Forest uses prescribed burning as a habitat management tool for wildlife by maintaining forest health and promoting the growth of beneficial plant species, as outlined in the Wayne National Forest 2006 Land Management Plan.
For example, fire is used to restore native oak-hickory forest. Prescribed burning also provides defensible spaces to guard communities against wildfire.
Efforts by the Wayne National Forest have been made to mitigate smoke concerns for the homeowners that reside near the project area. If conditions are not favorable for smoke dispersal, firefighters will not burn. Fire managers have begun to contact nearby homeowners to notify them of prescribed burn plans and to hand out prescribed burning educational fliers.
Fire managers are aware that the regular turkey season opened on Monday. To plan for the hunting season, the Forest Service is flagging the proposed burn area to warn hunters to stay away during burning operations.
For questions regarding prescribed burning operations, contact Wayne National Forest Dispatch Center at (740) 753-0571 or Wayne National Forest Headquarters (740) 753-0101.