February 8, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

U.S Forest Service Controlled Burn Season Underway to Protect Alabama from Wildfires

(Montgomery, Ala.)  February 8, 2011 ---- The U.S. Forest Service is conducting controlled burns within the Bankhead, Talladega, Conecuh, and Tuskegee National Forests to remove excessive ground debris that will improve plant and wildlife habitat and protect Alabama communities from the threat of wildfires.  As a safety precaution, the Forest Service is requesting everyone living or traveling near controlled burn areas to drive slower, watch for Forest Service fire personnel working in planned areas and use low-beam lights if smoke is present.


“Prescribed fire or controlled burn is a valuable tool we use to return the forest floor back to a healthy, productive state,” said James Flue, fire management officer for the National Forests in Alabama.   According to Flue, controlled burns are essential to the health of Alabama’s natural resources because it effectively removes unwanted brush that competes for light, moisture and nutrients in a newly planted stand.  Many diseases and insects that destroy trees are significantly reduced, along with hazardous fuels build-up that could lead to dangerous wildfires if left untreated.  Although for a short time after a prescribed burn, the area will look sooty and different, it will return within months to an open, park-like stand making travel and feeding easier for some wildlife.


The U.S. Forest Service has a team of trained fire personnel conducting each prescribed burn.  “Controlled burn is an annual forest management practice that we take very seriously,” said Flue. “Before we conduct controlled burns, weather conditions have to be favorable and safety precautions are performed.” 


The U.S. Forest Service will notify the public with signs or public service announcements sent to radio stations informing listeners about planned burns.  Maps of highlighted control burn areas are available on our website at www.fs.fed.us/r8/alabama.  The U.S. Forest Service is planning to burn approximately 75,000 acres on the National Forests in Alabama. Please contact the following Forest Service district offices for additional information:

·               Bankhead Forest is planning to burn 15,108 acres in Winston and Lawrence counties.  Contact Bankhead District at (205) 489-5111.

·               Talladega Forest – Talladega and Shoal Creek Districts are planning to burn 28,098 acres in Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, and Talladega Forest counties.  Contact the Shoal Creek at (256) 463-2272 or Talladega District at (256) 362-2909.

·               Conecuh Forest is planning to burn 13,666 acres in Escambia and Covington counties.   Contact Conecuh District at (334) 222-2555.

·               Talladega Forest - Oakmulgee District is planning to burn 16,046 acres in Bibb, Dallas, Perry, Tuscaloosa, Hale, and Chilton counties.  Contact the Oakmulgee District at (205) 926-9765.

·               Tuskegee Forest is planning to burn 2,100 acres in Macon County. Contact the Tuskegee District at (334) 727-2652.

For more information contact
James Flue or Tammy F. Truett  (334) 832-4470

  • For more information, visit http://forestry.alabama.gov
  • For more state-wide press releases, click here