(UNDATED) - According to Terry Severson, Hoosier Fire Management Officer, approximately 2,500 acres are being prepared to be burned as weather permits.
Last year, the Hoosier Fire Management was able to prescribe burn 2,400 acres.
Prescribed burning achieves a variety of objectives in restoring forest communities. Some areas are burned to improve oak and hickory regeneration, while others are burned to increase native grasses and keep the areas open for wildlife.
The prescribed burns could occur between now and April 15 as weather and conditions are favorable.
Severson noted in past years the Hoosier burned in the fall and in the spring.
"This year we anticipate looking at being more opportunistic with our prescribed burning. If we have a stretch of mild winter days such as we had last year we could conceivably burn in December or January, " Severson added.
Areas proposed to be prescribed burned this year include:
- Harris and Ogala (49 and 131 acres) - Small areas near Spurgeon Corner
- Wolf Track - 242 acres between Axom Branch Rd. and Lake Monroe
- Harvey Flats - 42 acres south of Deuchers
- U-38 - 472-acre area south of Birdseye
- Mifflin - 156-acre track south of the community of Mifflin
- Stillion - 42 acres north of Bonds Chapel
- Tincher South - 16-acre narrow field east of Huron
- Antioch - 17-acre tract north of New Antioch Church
- Rolland-Moffat - the bottomland fields of this wetland area (424 acres)
- Rattlesnake - 810 acres in Mogan Ridge
- Talley - 260 acres in Mogan Ridge
- Tower- 880 acres near German Ridge
The exact date of each burn is dependent on weather and fuel conditions. Fires will be lit by hand, using drip torches.
"The public in the immediate area of the prescribed are notified by letter. If they wish to know the specific date of the ignition they can call our dispatch office and we will let them know once we make that decision," Severson said.
He also encourages anyone with medical issues, such as asthma or emphysema that lives immediately around where a prescribed burn is planned who might be affected by smoke, to contact the Forest Service.
"We want to do everything we can to minimize effects on our neighbors," Severson added.
For questions on the prescribed burns, to request notification, or to report medical conditions contact Indiana Interagency Coordination Center Dispatcher at 812-547-9262.
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