Resource Management

Fire Management Program

Two firefighters watch a burn in progressFire Management involves both fire suppression and proactively using fire to achieve set goals. Fire effectively and efficiently reduces the level of hazardous fuels thus reducing risks and costs.

After many years of fire exclusion, an ecosystem that needs periodic fire becomes unhealthy. Trees are stressed by overcrowding; fire-dependent species disappear; and flammable fuels build up and become hazardous. However, the right fire at the right place at the right time helps maintain healthy forests, communities and watersheds. The Forest Plan Goals and Objectives for Fire Management guide this work. 



Fire InformationFire Info A member of the prescribed burning crew uses a drip torch to ignite a burn on the Chattahoochee NF.Prescribed Fire 2016 wildfire smokeWildland Fire The Firewise LogoCommunities &

A smooth coneflower in foreground as a ground fire in the background removes competing vegetation.Features & Spotlights


Current Prescribed Fire Information

Prescribed burning on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests:

Map Legend
Legend for the prescribed burn area maps

Tan areas are planned for burning.

Red areas will be burned today.

Gray areas have already been burned.

FY2020 Controlled Burns

Wildfire Information

2016 wildfire smokeGFC fire portalSMELL SMOKE? It may be a wildfire, so report it! 

Do not assume all smoke is from prescribed burning - it may be a wildfire

Georgia Wildfire Public

To learn if there are burn permits issued in your area or to report wildfires call your local GFC office or 911. You may also reach the Georgia Forestry Commission at 1-800-GA-TREES. 

See also:

Southern Area Coordination Center (SACC)
Current Large Fires in Georgia (



Prescribed Fire & #BurnAlerts


A member of the prescribed burning crew uses a drip torch to ignite a burn on the Chattahoochee NF.When conditions are just right, fire managers begin the prescribed fire treatments essential to improving wildlife habitat and maintaining a healthy forest. Every year, fire managers successfully treat around 35,000 acres on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests through prescribed fire.

Sign up or follow us on social media to receive #BurnAlerts notifications when a prescribed fire will occur in your area. The following methods are available to you, which are updated to provide official public notification of prescribed fire activities.




Email: Sign up for #BurnAlerts
Facebook: @ChattOconeeNF
Twitter: @ChattOconeeNF
Text messages: text ‘follow chattoconeenf’ to 40404 on your mobile phone to receive Tweets by Text
Web Alerts
     Example: #BurnAlerts for Spring season Prescribed Fires 

Call your nearest office:

Chatsworth 706-695-6736
Blairsville 706-745-6928
Lakemont 706-754-6221
Eatonton 706-485-7110
Gainesville 770-297-3000

Be advised that smoke from prescribed fire may cross state boundaries. Find #BurnAlerts for the Cherokee National Forest, the National Forests in North Carolina, the Francis Marion & Sumter National Forests, and the National Forests in Alabama on their websites.






Prescribed Fire resources

GoodFirePrescribed fire, also known as a controlled burn, refers to the controlled application of fire by a team of fire experts under specified weather conditions that help restore health to fire-adapted environments.

Prescribed fire reintroduces the beneficial effects of fire into an ecosystem, producing the kinds of vegetation and landscapes we want, and reducing the hazard of catastrophic wildfire caused by excessive fuel buildup.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests fire management program mission is to manage fuels at the landscape scale to restore and maintain fire-resilient landscapes that are compatible with their historical fire return interval, a core goal of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.

Learn more about prescribed fire by reviewing Feature and Spotlight stories below, or a few educational videos: 

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests

District Fire Management Officer talks about benefits for wildlife from prescribed fire



District Fire Management Officer talks about restoring Longleaf pine



Burn boss describes a prescribed fire strategy for controlling a burn



District biologist talks about creating open woodland habitat with prescribed fire.


#GoodFire at Georgia Mountain Orchard with Mike Brod on Chattahoochee National Forest in 2011


District Fire Management Officer Amy McClave talks about reduction of hazardous fuels in the Wildland-Urban Interface and Firewise.



More Resources


Smokey Bear


Smokey Bear on Prescribed Fire

Smokey Bear on safe debris burning.


Georgia Prescribed Fire Council logo



Georgia Prescribed Fire Council



Georgia Forestry Commission


Georgia Forestry Commission
Prescribed Fire Resources


Coalition of PFC



Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils (CPFC)



Fire Learning Network logo


Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network


CAFMS logo


Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists


The Nature Conservancy



The Nature Conservancy 
Bringing Fire Back to the Mountains






Wildland Fire Management

The Forest Service has been managing wildland fire on National Forests and Grasslands for more than 100 years. But the Forest Service doesn’t – and can’t – do it alone. Instead, the agency works closely with other federal, tribal, state, and local partners.

This is more important than ever because over the last few decades, the wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Longer fire seasons; bigger fires and more acres burned on average each year; more extreme fire behavior; and wildfire suppression operations in the wildland urban interface (WUI) have become the norm. 



Wildland Fire in Georgia:

Fire has been an essential natural process in Southern Appalachian oak and pine forests for thousands of years, and its absence over the past century has transformed our forests. Learn more about the relationship between fire and the only national forest in Georgia.




Work in Fire:

We need to be prepared with highly trained people, well designed tools and high performing equipment to respond safely and effectively to forest and grassland fires. Responding to fires often requires a mix of ground firefighters and aerial firefighting aircraft. 


Partners and more resources:

To address the challenge of wildland fire, the Forest Service and its other federal, tribal, state, and local partners have developed and are implementing a National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy that has three key components: Resilient Landscapes, Fire Adapted Communities, and Safe and Effective Wildfire Response.

Drought Monitor IconU.S. Drought Monitor - Georgia

The Drought Monitor summary map identifies general areas of drought and labels them by intensity. 

The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary. 




Communities and Homeowners

Every year, wildfires burn across the U.S., and more and more people are living where wildfires are a real risk. Nearly 45 million homes abut or intermingle with wildlands and more than 72,000 U.S. communities are now at risk. But by working together residents can make their own property - and their neighborhood - much safer from wildfire.

Research tells us that the majority of homes ignite during a wildfire as a result of embers or small flames. There are steps that homeowners can take to reduce the risk, with the most important efforts occurring on and immediately around the home. Learn what actions you can take to reduce your risk of loss.

Learn more about preparing for wildfires and becoming fire adapted:



Smokey Bear

​Humans cause nearly nine out of ten wildfires. Learn more about wildfire prevention from Smokey Bear.

Georgia Forestry Commission


Georgia Forestry Commission:



Wildfire Evacuation Plans:
Ready, Set, Go!



Community Preparedness: Fire Adapted Communities 


The Firewise Logo


Home Defense How-To: Firewise


(Click to print)
Ignition Zone Image



Features and Spotlights



A member of the prescribed burning crew uses a drip torch to ignite a burn on the Chattahoochee NF.Controlled Burning for Healthy Forest Management in the Appalachians

Fire is a very important element in the health of many ecosystems, whether it is a raging wildfire or a controlled burn. Of course, it's much better to have a controlled burn if you want a healthy forest. Take a look at this brochure to learn more about how fire is used as a tool to create healthier forests in the Appalachian Mountains.




Creeping fire on Cohutta WildernessHistory of Fire in the Southern Appalachians

Fire has been an essential natural process in Southern Appalachian oak and pine forests for thousands of years, and its absence over the past century has transformed our forests. Learn more about the fascinating relationship between fire and forest here in Georgia.




Growing season prescribed fireWildlife Benefit from Spring Prescribed Fires

Carefully planned and controlled prescribed fire during the spring growing season can provide ideal habitat conditions for wild turkey and other wildlife.




Considerations for Wildlife & Fire in the Southern Blue RidgeConsiderations for Wildlife & Fire in the Southern Blue Ridge

Prescribed fire is used to maintain various vegetation communities required by many wildlife species. This publication provides brief summaries of the biology and the most recent science of fire effects for select wildlife species. Photos are included as well as locations where habitat management for those species can be seen on public lands in the southern Appalachian region.





The Fire Manager's Guide to Blue Ridge Ecozones
The Fire Manager's Guide to Blue Ridge Ecozones

The Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network has identified and prioritized six fire-dependent ecozones (ecological zones)—areas that support plant and animal communities characteristic of the local environment. This guide summarizes fire needs and effects for these systems and many of the species within them.





Reptiles and Amphibians Unharmed by Prescribed Fires in Early Growing SeasonReptiles and Amphibians Unharmed by Prescribed Fires in Early Growing Season

Amphibians and reptiles tend to be most active during the spring and summer, when it’s warmer. A recent USDA Forest Service study compared how herpetofauna respond to prescribed fires conducted during the growing season – when vegetation is actively growing – versus those in dormant season months.




Intro to Prescribe Fire in the South - coverIntroduction to Prescribed Fire in Southern Ecosystems

This publication is a guide for resource managers on planning and executing prescribed burns in Southern forests and grasslands. It includes explanations of reasons for prescribed burning, environmental effects, weather, and techniques as well as general information on prescribed burning. (2012 Aug, Science Update SRS-054) by USFS Southern Research Station.





The Forest Service green and yellow insigniaSouthern Research Station articles and science about prescribed fire, including a few selected stories referenced below. The Southern Research Station is part of the Nation's largest forestry research organization—USDA Forest Service Research and Development—the leading organization for research on natural resource management and sustainability in the United States.





Prescribed Fire Report logo2018 National Prescribed Fire Use Survey

Conducted every three years, these surveys help encourage the appropriate use of prescribed fire as a means to improve forest health and public safety. The 2018 survey found Georgia burns more than 1 million acres annually. The survey was prepared by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) and the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils (CPFC)