Monongahela National Forest plans prescribed fires this spring

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Monongahela National Forest fire managers plan to conduct prescribed fires on 3,425 acres of Forest Service land in three locations this spring between mid-March and early June in Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties.

A prescribed fire is one that is ignited by highly-trained fire personnel under very specific fuel and weather conditions. Prescribed fires are used primarily to help reduce the threat of wildfires and to improve the health of native plants and wildlife habitat in the Forest.

These prescribed fires will help to restore fire’s historic ecological role in oak and pine forests, and will favor native vegetation and enhance wildlife habitat for deer, turkey, grouse, and bear.

The three planned burns include:

  • Chestnut Ridge (1,579 acres) is located in Pocahontas County east of Green Bank. This unit was first burned in 2009-10. This entry will complete the second burn planned for this unit for vegetative management.
  • Guinn Ridge (1,462 acres) is located in Pocahontas County east of Green Bank. This unit was first burned in 2011. This entry will complete the second burn planned for this unit for vegetative management.
  • Rucker Gap (384 acres) is located to the east of Neola in Greenbrier County. This will be the first entry of two burns planned for this unit.

Each prescribed burn will be conducted when weather conditions are favorable to minimize smoke impacts to local communities. Area residents and travelers through the area may see or smell smoke from these prescribed fires. If you encounter smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on your vehicle’s lights and drive appropriately for the conditions.

Local radio stations will be alerted to burn activities ahead of time. Signs will be posted on roads near all prescribed burn areas prior to and when burning is in progress.

For more information contact the Greenbrier Ranger Station at 304-456-3335 or the White Sulphur office of the Marlinton-White Sulphur Ranger District at 304-536-2144.