Forest Service Annual Controlled Burns are Protecting Communities and Restoring National Forests
The USDA Forest Service is conducting controlled burns during the winter and spring seasons on approximately 115,000 acres throughout Alabama’s four national forests – Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee. Trained fire specialists use controlled burns as a forest management tool to restore forests and protect communities from wildfires. The controlled burn or “good fire” is carefully planned and implemented under favorable weather conditions. The Forest Service is asking the public to use their low beam lights if they encounter smoke on roads and watch for uniformed Forest Service personnel and equipment. Visibility may be reduced because of smoke settling at night in low lying areas.
The goal of a controlled burn is to open up the forest floor to produce more grass, fruits and seeds, and improve travel routes for wildlife species. In addition, the controlled burns reduce the amount of fallen trees and brush that could feed into wildfires if left untreated. This is very important for the safety of the people who live in and around national forests. The public will be notified of the controlled burns with signs or public service announcements sent to radio stations informing listeners. Maps of the planned controlled burn areas are available on our website at www.fs.usda.gov/alabama. Please contact the following Forest Service district offices for additional information:
· Bankhead Forest is planning to burn 19,000 approx. acres in Winston and Lawrence counties. Contact Bankhead District at (205) 489-5111.
· Talladega Forest – Talladega and Shoal Creek Districts are planning to burn approx. 37,000 acres in Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, and Talladega Forest counties. Contact the Shoal Creek at (256) 463-2272 or Talladega District at (256) 362-2909.
· Conecuh Forest is planning to burn approx. 31,000 acres in Escambia and Covington counties. Contact Conecuh District at (334) 222-2555.
· Talladega Forest - Oakmulgee District is planning to burn approx. 24,000 acres in Bibb, Dallas, Perry, Tuscaloosa, Hale, and Chilton counties. Contact the Oakmulgee District at (205) 926-9765.
· Tuskegee Forest is planning to burn approx. 3,000 acres in Macon County. Contact the Tuskegee District at (334) 727-2652.