Resource Management

Fire Management Program

Two firefighters watch a burn in progressAfter 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. 



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.




Prescribed Fire Program & Alerts   |   Features and Spotlights 

Wildland Fire and You   |   Communities and Homeowners 

Prescribed Fire Program & Alerts

A smooth coneflower in foreground as a ground fire in the background removes competing vegetation.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. Learn more about prescribed fire by reviewing Feature and Spotlight stories below. See photo examples of #GoodFire.

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
Web Alerts
     Example: #BurnAlerts for Spring season Prescribed Fires 
Mobile App: download at​ to receive web alerts by Mobile App


Call your nearest office:

Chatsworth 706-695-6736

Blairsville 706-745-6928

Lakemont 706-754-6221

Eatonton 706-485-7110

Gainesville 770-297-3000




Smell smoke? It may be a wildfire, so report it! 

Do not assume all smoke is from prescribed burning. 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.

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.




 Photos of #GoodFire


Features and Spotlights

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.



2018 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)

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 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.




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.



Wildland Fire and You


U.S. Forest Service:

Other Information Sources:


Prescribed Fire resources
Smokey Bear Smokey Bear on Prescribed Fire

Georgia Prescribed Fire Council

GPFC Meeting for North Georgia
February 7, 2019
Chattahoochee Technical College
Jasper, Georgia

Georgia Forestry Commission Prescribed Fire Resources

Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils (CPFC)

Southern Blue Ridge Fire Learning Network

Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists
The Nature ConservancyBringing Fire Back to the Mountains


Communities and Homeowners


Smokey Bear ​Wildfire Prevention: Smokey Bear
Georgia Forestry Commission: online burn permit
Wildfire Evacuation Plans: Ready, Set, Go!

Community Preparedness: Fire Adapted Communities 

Towns County, Georgia Success Story

The Firewise Logo Home Defense How-To: Firewise


(Click to print)
Ignition Zone Image