Land Near Birdseye to be Part of Prescribed Burns

A plot of land near Birdseye is set to be included among those that will be part of prescribed burns in the Hoosier National Forest.

All told, 472 acres just to the south of Birdseye are set to be included in the prescribed burn. The dates for each burn will be set depending on the day’s weather. Forest spokeswoman Teena Ligman says on the days that conditions for burning are favorable, forest officials will begin the burns in the late morning or early afternoon of that day.

More than 200 thousand acres spanning five heavily wooded areas inside of the park will be part of the burn. Each section set to be burned on a particular day will be closed to the public from the day of the burn until the area being burned is deemed to be safe. Ligman says certain areas could be closed for several days to ensure that the particular area is safe.

Almost 1,700 acres of the forest will undergo a controlled burn that is intended to restore wooded areas through improving the regeneration for hickory and oak, increasing native grasses and to keep the land clear for wildlife.

Parts of the Birdseye Trail south of Mitchell Creek Road will also be closed as a large section of the forest in Crawford County to the south of Birdseye is among those areas that are set for a prescribed burn. Forest officials are set to mail out letters to folks living near the area to make them aware that a controlled burn has been planned. For more information, homeowners in the area may call 547-9262 and they will find out as soon as the decision has been made according to forest officials. Anyone suffering from asthma or emphysema and who lives near the forest should call the Forest Service.

Each year, the staff burns between 2,500 and 3,000 acres of dense forest. Fires are lit by hand using drip torches.

Because of unfavorable weather, only about half of the controlled burns were carried out last year, but this year will be “more opportunistic.”

Other areas locally slated for prescribed burns include in the Roland-Moffat wetland area in Orange County and in the Mogan Ridge area south of Leopold in Perry County.