Bedford- The USDA Forest Service plans to conduct seasonal prescribed burning this fall on the Hoosier National Forest.
Prescribed fire is used to maintain, restore or improve early successional habitat for wildlife, maintain wetlands, restore and maintain unique barren communities, and restore oak-hickory dominated ecosystems. It also reduces the amount of woody material on the forest floor, thereby lowering the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and increases plant diversity.
Prescribed burns will be conducted on National Forest System lands and through agreements with adjacent private landowners. Areas being considered for burning this fall have signage placed in advance, but determination of whether a fire will be implemented will be made on the day of the burn after careful evaluation of key factors and conditions. Forest staff notifies residents and businesses in the immediate area of a potential prescribed burn one or two days prior depending on neighbor preference. Check the forest’s social media accounts for announcements of burns at www.facebook.com/HoosierNF/ and https://twitter.com/HoosierNF.
Designated burn units are closed to all public entry, including hunting, on the day of the burn and until the area is considered safe. For your safety, please contact the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center Dispatcher (812-547-9262) if you plan to hunt or camp in or near a prescribed burn area.
Smoke is an unavoidable consequence of prescribed burning. Fire managers burn only under atmospheric conditions specified in a burn plan and rely on meteorologic data to choose days in which the impacts of smoke are minimized. Smoke plumes from a prescribed fire usually rise high into the air where the smoke dissipates. If smoke is present on roadways, motorists should reduce speeds and turn on headlights.
All burns are implemented under carefully planned prescriptions and protocols to mitigate the risk of an escaped fire and smoke exposure to communities. Forest neighbors who wish to be notified of a specific date of a burn, or those who wish to report medical conditions that could be affected by smoke, may contact the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center Dispatcher at 812-547-9262.