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Hoosier National Forest Plan 12 Prescribed Burns
Updated March 19, 2015 6:49 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(BEDFORD) - Hoosier National Forest staff have 12 possible prescribed burns planned for this spring.

These areas total 2,662 acres.

Days available to accomplish these burns are limited by weather and available personnel. 

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. Some burns also reduce hazardous fuels.

The prescribed burns could occur from now until the first part of-May as weather and conditions are favorable. 

According to Terry Severson, Hoosier Fire Management Officer, each fiscal year (October-September) approximately 2,500 to 3,000 acres are prepared to be burned as weather permits.

Last year Hoosier staff burned approximately 1500 acres. This year's plan is to burn 2100 acres.

Last fall, weather only allowed for two burns totaling 63-acres near Hemlock Cliffs. 

Severson explained that more acres are prepared for prescribed burns than are actually burned. Each burn area requires a different "prescription," which determines what wind direction and speed, temperature and fuel moisture are required for any given burn to be ignited. Severson notes, "The more areas we have ready to go, the more likely on any given day and weather forecast we'll be able to find an area that we can burn. There are only a limited number of days during the year that are suitable for prescribed burning so we want to maximize those opportunities." He explained wind direction is often a limiting factor with roads or private homes on one side of an area so they prioritize areas by ecological objectives and then wind direction. Severson said the Hoosier's prescribed burns occur predominately in the fall and in the spring.

Each area will be closed to the public the day of the burn and for some time after the burn until the area is considered safe. If there are a significant numbers of burning snags, the areas may be closed for several days for public safety.  Signs will be posted along the fire line and at any logical entry points into the area.

Hunters are asked to use caution and pay particular attention to signs posted in areas they plan to hunt.
The possible prescribed burn program includes:
Martin County:
·Union Cemetery North and South - 201 acres south of Huron near Union Cemetery

Orange County:

  • Antioch - 17 acre opening north of US 150 near Antioch Church.

  • Bonds - 88 acres to restore an opening north of Bonds Chapel.

  • Roland- 250 acre bottomland field in a wetland area near Roland.

Perry County:

  • Bull Hollow - 654 acres in Mogan Ridge north of Derby (will affect portions of the Mogan Ridge East and West trail system).
  • Haskins - 122 acres near Doolittle Mills.
  • Gerald - 94 acres area north of German Ridge.
  • Krausch - 135 acre area north of German Ridge.
  • Mill Creek - 50 acres near Deuchars
  • Rattlesnake North - 223 acres in Mogan Ridge area south of Leopold.
  • Rattlesnake South - 811 acres in Mogan Ridge area south of Leopold. (Will affect portions of the Mogan Ridge West Trail).
  • Tipsaw Dam - 17 acres, will be burned once the vegetation is dormant.
  The exact date of each burn is dependent on weather and fuel conditions. Prescribed fires will be lit by hand, using drip torches. According to Severson, "The public in the immediate area of the prescribed burn 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".  He also encourages anyone with medical issues who might be affected by smoke, such as asthma or emphysema who live immediately around where a prescribed burn is planned, to contact the Forest Service. He notes, "We want to do everything we can to minimize effects on our neighbors."   For questions on the prescribed burns, to request notification, or to report medical conditions please contact the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center Dispatcher at (812) 547-9262.     The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service's Eastern Region includes twenty states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota.  There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit

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