HARRISBURG, Pa., April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When weather conditions permit, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will be conducting prescribed fires on selected state forests and state parks across Pennsylvania, State Forester Dan Devlin announced today.
"Prescribed fire, also known as 'controlled burning,' is an important tool in growing young trees, restoring native plants, controlling invasive species, and reducing wildfire danger," Devlin said. "It is especially important in Pennsylvania because of the large amount of land in the wildland-urban interface -- that area where our neighborhoods meet nature."
The Bureau of Forestry director said highly-trained firefighters use special equipment to carry out these burns. Temperature, wind, and moisture levels must remain within limits defined in an approved plan. Devlin noted these plans also identify burn boundaries; explain reasons for burning an area; and specify the minimum number of firefighters and equipment needed to safely execute a prescribed burn.
"As spring also is our wildfire season, fire managers carefully consider the current and expected weather," Devlin said. "They also notify local fire departments and emergency management officials before conducting any prescribed fire."
State forest and state park resource managers submitted burn plans for 18 of the state's 20 forest districts this year, and prescribed fires could occur in nearly any part of the state. Forest district officials expect to conduct burns on state forests or state parks in the following forest districts: Michaux, Buchannan, Tuscarora, Forbes, Rothrock, Gallitzin, Bald Eagle, Clear Creek, Moshannon, Sproul, Tiadaghton, Elk, Susquehannock, Tioga, William Penn, Weiser, Delaware and Loyalsock.
Local roads and highways may be briefly affected, and travelers should take care if they see road signs warning of prescribed fire activity. Smoke reduces driver visibility, and firefighters often work along edges of roads.
Landowners and managers are reminded it is illegal to start a prescribed fire without prior approval by DCNR officials.
For more information on prescribed fire, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/wildlandfire/prescribedfire/index.htm.
MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources