Prescribed burn plans extended for Wayne National Forest

Published 9:28 am Friday, November 19, 2010

NELSONVILLE — Wet weather moving into Southeastern Ohio has forced the Wayne National Forest Ironton and Athens Ranger Districts to extend their prescribed burning plans for the fall season.

Once conditions are favorable, the Forest could implement prescribed burning operations now through Nov. 30.

The following prescribed burns are planned:

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Pine Creek Prescribed Burn

Location: Lawrence County/Decatur Township and Scioto County/Vernon Township

• The project area includes Pine Creek Road 2.5 miles southeast from junction with County Road 2, both sides of the road and generally following ATV Trail and Pine Creek on south side of Pine Creek Road over to Youngs Branch Drainage then proceeding to Popular Flats and FS-132. FS Road 132, from County Road 2 south to Howard Ridge Road.

Howard Ridge Road 1 mile northwest to FS Boundary then turning east approximately 1/4 mile to ATV Trail then following ATV Trail north to FS 132.

Howard Ridge Road 1.5 miles southeast dropping down into Bear Run Drainage then turning northwest to Wolcott Hollow then proceeding north, northeast up ATV Trail to Howard Ridge Road and FS 132 junction. Control lines will consist of existing roads, ATV Trail (legal and illegal), hand line and dozer line on old existing roads.

Acres: Approximately 791

Summary: The primary objective of the prescribed burn is to reduce hazardous fuels that have accumulated as a result of the 2003 ice storm and the damage it incurred.

Reduction of these hazardous fuels will decrease the likelihood of a large and intensive wildland fire.This prescribed burn is planned to reduce the fire hazard and improve ecosystem health.

Middle Bailey/Utah Ridge Prescribed Burn

Location: Athens County, Dover Township

• Utah Ridge area, north of State Route 33 between Coal Run Road and Middle Bailey Road, south of Nelsonville.

Acres: Approximately 255 in the Historic Forest Management Area

Summary: The prescribed burn will help with the restoration and maintenance of the oak-hickory ecosystem.

Significant preparations are undertaken to allow the Wayne National Forest to conduct prescribed burns, including physical visits to neighboring communities and homes to talk about the project and what residents might expect.

There are hundreds of feet of fire line several feet wide that have been constructed in order to provide the highest degree of safety. The fire lines also connect to roads and trails to provide protection.

The Wayne National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and uses factors including the humidity, moisture content of the forest, winds, and temperatures to determine when and where they can conduct the operations.

If any of these conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.