ELKINS, W.Va. — Staff at the Monongahela National Forest in eastern West Virginia plan to conduct prescribed burns and pile burns in Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Grant, and Pendleton counties this fall and winter, weather permitting.
According to Kelly Bridges, a spokesperson for the service, the burns help re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.
Prescribed burns and pile burns planned for the north zone of the national forest include:
- Guinn Ridge Prescribed Burn, 1,462 acres, Pocahontas County
- Ramshorn Ridge Prescribed Burn, 1,005 acres, Pocahontas County
- Nursery Bottom Prescribed Burn, 54 acres, Tucker County
- Mower-Glover Range Allotment Pile Burn, Pendleton County
- Smokehole-Champ Range Allotment Pile Burn, Grant County
Prescribed burns and pile burns planned for the south zone of the national forest include:
- Rucker Gap Prescribed Burn, 384 acres, Greenbrier County
- Meadow Creek Unit 1 Prescribed Burn, 139 acres, Greenbrier County
- Meadow Creek Unit 2 Prescribed Burn, 109 acres, Greenbrier County
- Lake Sherwood Dam Prescribed Burn, 4 acres, Greenbrier County
- Marlinton Pile Burn, Pocahontas County
- Gay Sharp Range Allotment Pile Burn, Pocahontas County
- Beale-Hacking Range Allotment Pile Burn, Pocahontas County
Each burn area will be closed to the public on the day of the burn and may be closed for several days to ensure public safety. Signs will be posted on roads near all prescribed burn areas before and during burning.
Residents and visitors may see and smell smoke for several days. If motorists encounter smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on your 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.
Staff and the Monongahela National Forest follow strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns and consider environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, smoke dispersion, and wind. The burn will be postponed if any ecological conditions are not within limits.