Resource Management

Fire Management Program

A firefighter ignites a controlled burn using a drip torch
A firefighter ignites a prescribed burn

After many years of fire exclusion, an ecosystem that needs periodic fire becomes unhealthy. Trees are stressed by overcrowding; fire-dependent species disappear; and the diversity and mosaic of habitats is lost. However, fire in the right place at the right time helps maintain healthy forests, communities and watersheds. Prescribed burns are the safest way to return fire to the ecosystem. 


Prescribed Burns and You

The Forest Service develops burn plans for each prescribed burn.  By considering weather forecasts, humidity, and other factors, these plans describe the best conditions for trees and other plants to burn safely.  No fire is lit until experts are convinced that conditions are right to ensure our goals of community safety and ecological restoration are met.

During a prescribed burn, anyone near the national forest may see and smell smoke and certain areas in an around the burn will be closed. 

If you have questions about the goals of the fire management program and how you may be affected by a prescribed burn near you, check out our Prescribed Burning FAQs.


Wildland Fire and You

Learn about Fire and Landscapes in the central Appalachians (external link)

Keep your property and community safe with tips from Firewise Communities (external link)

Learn about fire safety at Be Smart Outdoors  (external link)

Get the kids involved with Smokey Bear  (external link)