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Fire starters: WNF begins controlled burn

WATERLOO - Wayne National Forestry workers have scheduled a prescribed burn today for 75 acres of forest near Waterloo.

Another burn could be scheduled for Friday

The burn today will involve an area off County Road 4 (Etna-Waterloo Road). It will begin at 10 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m.,

WNF Ironton District Ranger Gloria Chrismer said.

"This is to reduce fuel loading in the area and to encourage warm season grasses in the open area and get it in better shape for spring. There is also an endangered Blue Scorpion Weed out there and we're trying to improve the habitat for that," Chrismer said. "The weather is nice, the winds are supposed to be calm, the temperature is right and everything's good for it, except that the ground is wet. But that will just make it safer," Chrismer said.

This is the first burn of the year on forest lands. While several burns were scheduled last year, WNF officials succeeded with only one burn that affected several different areas on the same day. Other burns fell victim to bad weather.

"It stayed wet and it rained so much we just couldn't do it," Chrismer said. "We had five or six smaller burns planned and then didn't have them."

Neighbors living in or near the affected areas have been notified of what is taking place.