Resource Management

Fire Management Program

Two firefighters watch a burn in progress

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. (Click photo to see more).

In 2016, fire managers successfully treated 34,466 acres on the Forests through prescribed fire. Over the last 10 years, an average of 29,312 acres have been treated through prescribed fire per year. See examples of #GoodFire at:



2018 Prescribed Fire Program & Alerts

When conditions are just right, fire managers begin the prescribed fire treatments essential to improving wildlife habitat and maintaining a healthy forest. Approximately 32,000 acres across the Forests may be treated through mid-May 2018.

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.


Photos of #GoodFire at:


 Photos of #GoodFire at:

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.






Reptiles 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.



2016 wildfire smoke2016 Wildfires: Fact Sheet
In the fall of 2016, historic wildfires burned an estimated 42,000 acres on the Chattahoochee National Forest beginning October 1.

Related - News Release Dec. 14, 2016: All National Forest Wildfires Contained - Closures Lifted But Hazards Remain



GA firefighters serving in the west; over 9 million acres burned

We care for the land and serve people- no matter what land is burning, no matter where those people are. In this year of wildfire disasters, it takes all of us.


Wildland Fire and You

U.S. Forest Service:

Other resources:

Communities and Homeowners

Logos for fire websites

Ignition Zone Image

Things to know about fire in the South