Feds planning controlled burns at 4 Alabama national forests


The Lake Chinnabee Recreation Area at Talladega National Forest.

By Howard Koplowitz | [email protected]

The U.S. Forest Service is planning controlled burns at four national forests in Alabama this winter.

“Prescribed fire (controlled burning) is a carefully planned, critical, and cost-effective management tool that benefits the National Forest in Alabama’s wildlife and environment, and also helps reduce the impact of wildfire hazards,” said Joe Smith, fire management officer with the U.S. Forest Service.

More than 100,000 acres are planned for prescribed fire throughout Alabama’s four national forests –Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee — throughout the next several months, the forest service said.

The burns will be conducted by forest service personnel. Prescribed fire improves plant and animal habitats and helps the forests withstand drought, insect infestation and diseases. Controlled burning also lowers the risks of wildfires by reducing the buildup of hazardous fuels.

Motorists are encourages to turn on their headlights and slow down if smoke from the controlled burning is seen on roadways.