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Prescribed burns planned at Oak Mountain State Park and other woodlands

WVTM 13 Birmingham logo WVTM 13 Birmingham 1/30/2021
a tree in a field: Prescribed burns of woodlands © USDA Forest Service Prescribed burns of woodlands

Prescribed burns of woodlands is expected to begin soon.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reported there will be prescribed fires of two longleaf pine tree zones at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham.

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Those burns are planned for mid-February through March.

The ADCNR states the burns will involve about 168 acres near the upper fishing lakes and about 130 acres near the campground.

Meanwhile, the USDA Forest Service is in charge of controlled burns of about 134,500 acres of Alabama's four national forests, Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega and Tuskegee.

“Our prescribed burning program is a targeted approach to reducing flammable vegetation on the landscape known as ‘fuels’ that build upon the forest floor and can feed large wildfires. Reducing these fuels reduces future wildfire impacts in our communities,” said Joe Smith, forest fire management officer with the National Forests in Alabama.

The USDA Forest Service also states controlled burns help improve habitat for wildlife, including deer, turkey, quail and songbirds, by opening the forest floor to sunlight and encouraging the growth of native grasses and other plants which provide food and shelter for many animals.

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