Forest Service will prescribe burn 23 acres of Allegheny National Forest on Sunday

Western PA News

WARREN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service need hikers and bikers to stay clear of a certain section of Allegheny National Forest this weekend.

On Sunday, they will conduct a prescribed fire on the Grouse Garden Unit of Allegheny National Forest in Elk County. Ignitions for the one-day burn will begin around noon. The public may notice smoke rising from the area located east of Loleta in Millstone Township.

The burn will cover 23 acres to maintain wildlife habitat management goals of the newly created savannah in that particular unit. Burning the warm-season grasses on the savannah will produce nutrient-rich ash that will stimulate the growth of next year’s grasses. Applying fire to the landscape needs to happen every three to five years to keep warm-season grass habitat healthy.

Prescribed fires are conducted with the safety of the public and firefighters as the highest priority.  A prescribed fire will only happens once a burn plan has been approved, qualified resources are available and environmental parameters are met and appropriate.

Plans are implemented only when the prescribed parameters are met, such as wind speeds and direction, relative humidity, temperatures, fire danger, seasonal restrictions and a limit to the damage of potential smoke.

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