2018-05-10 / Local & State

Controlled Burns Planned For Region Game Lands

The Pennsylvania Game Commission this week, May 7, plans to conduct controlled burning operations, weather permitting on any of the following State Game Lands in the south-central region. They are State Game Lands 261 located in Bedford County, State Game Lands 107 Mifflin/Juniata County and/or State Game Lands 73, Franklin County. Weather and forest site conditions will dictate which site will be chosen. Controlled burns are used to rejuvenate lands and make them more beneficial for wildlife.

These forested burns are targeted to improve habitat conditions by reducing competing vegetation, promoting native hardwood and forest shrub regeneration, increase mast production as well as reducing the threat of wildfires.

“All controlled burns are conducted by highly trained crews from the region to ensure the safety of themselves and the public,” explained Brad Myers, south-central regional director. Actual operations are dependent on current weather and site conditions.

Even if reported conditions are favorable, a “test burn” will be conducted to observe fire behavior and smoke dispersion patterns to ensure on-site conditions reflect the same. Results of this small test fire will be the final determining factor for the operation to proceed.

When a decision is made to go ahead with a burn, the specific county 911 centers, local police, emergency and township offices where the game land is located are notified. During the operational period, all access to the site will be restricted to trained staff directly associated with the burn. As a result of the burn, the public may expect to see smoke on this game land any day this week, primarily between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information about controlled fire, please go to the Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council Web site at: www.paprescribedfire.org. Additional information about wildlife and habitat management specifically related to prescribe fire may also be found on the Game Commission’s Web site at www.pgc.pa.gov.

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