Monongahela National Forest staff plan to conduct prescribed burns on 1,251 acres in Pocahontas, Greenbrier and Pendleton counties from March through June, weather permitting. The purposes of these treatments are to re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.
Project areas planned for prescribed burns this spring include:
- Big Mountain Unit 9 & 10 – 55 acres (Pendleton County);
- Chestnut Ridge North/South Savanna Units 1 and 2 – 212 acres (Pocahontas County);
- Hopkins Units A, B and C – 844 acres (Greenbrier County); and
- Brushy Mountain Units B2, B4 and B6 – 140 acres (Greenbrier County).
Each burn area will be closed to the public on the day of the burn, and may be closed for several days after, to ensure public safety. Signs will be posted on roads near all prescribed burn areas before and during burning. Residents and forest visitors may see and smell smoke for several days. If a person encounters smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on the vehicle’s lights and drive appropriately for the conditions.
Prescribed burns are conducted under specific weather conditions and are designed to accomplish pre-determined forest management goals. Monongahela National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and takes into consideration environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, smoke dispersion and wind. If any environmental conditions are not within limits, the burn will be postponed.
Local radio stations will be alerted to burn activities ahead of time. When burning begins, information, photos, and maps will be available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/.
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