Why the Forestry Service performs prescribed burns


Have you ever been driving along and seen smoke rising from the tree tops? You probably wondered what was on fire. More then likely it was just the Forestry Service carrying out a prescribed burn. Why do they do this you might ask?

The answer to this question is that the Forest Service performs prescribed fires in order to benefit natural resources and to reduce the risk of unwanted wildfires in the future. They also use hand tools and machines to thin out overgrown areas in preparation for the eventual return of fire. In fact more prescribed fires will mean less extreme wildfires! Burn plans identify or “prescribe” the best conditions under which trees and other plants will burn to get the best results safely. Burn plans consider things such as temperature, humidity, wind, moisture of the vegetation, and conditions for the release of smoke. Prescribed fire specialists compare the conditions on the ground to those outlined in burn plans before deciding whether or not to burn on any given day.

The a fire at the right place at the right time has many benefits:

•It Reduces hazardous fuels.

•It minimizes the spread of insects and disease.

•It removes unwanted pests that threaten species native to the ecosystem.

– It improves the habitat for threatened and endangered species.

•It recycles nutrients back to the soil and promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants.



If you have fire concerns please contact the Georgia forestry Commission at 1-800-GA-TREES (428-7337)



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