Prescribed Burning on the Hoosier National Forest
Brochure on Prescribed Burning
Staff on the Hoosier National Forest have six possible prescribed burns planned for this fall, more areas are planned for the spring. Days available to accomplish these burns are always limited by weather and available personnel. Some areas may be burned while other areas may not depending on local site and weather conditions.
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 the end of October and April 15 as weather and conditions are favorable. Fall burns are normally conducted prior to firearms deer season but might occur later in the winter.
According to Terry Severson, Hoosier Fire Management Officer, most years the Hoosier is able to prescribe burn 2,500 - 3,000 acres. Last year, because of wet weather the Forest was unable to meet that goal. Severson also noted in past years the Hoosier burned in the fall and in the spring but, “This year we anticipate being more opportunistic with our prescribed burning. If we have a stretch of mild winter days we could conceivably burn in December or January.”
Areas proposed to be prescribed burned this year include:
• U-38 – 472-acre area south of Birdseye (Will affect portions of the Birdseye Trail south of Mitchell Creek Road)
• Scott and Maines Pond – 60 acres in two seperate units. One north of Houston and one is west of Spurgeons Corner.
• Roland-Moffatt– the bottomland fields of these two seperate wetland area near Roland. (335 acres).
• Rattlesnake – 811 acres in Mogan Ridge south of Leopold (will affect portions of the Mogan Ridge West Trail)
Additional prescribed burns are planned for the spring.
The exact date of each burn is dependent on weather and fuel conditions. Fires will be lit by hand, using drip torches. According to Severson, “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”. 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. He notes, “We want to do everything we can to minimize affects on our neighbors.”
For questions on the prescribed burns, to request notification, or to report medical conditions please contact Indiana Interagency Coordination Center Dispatcher at 812-547-9262.