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Wayne National Forest plans fires for tree, wildlife health

March 10, 2019

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Nearly 2,000 acres of Wayne National Forest in Ohio will be intentionally burned over the next three months as part of the area’s fire management efforts.

Forest officials say scientists who study native plants, birds and other wildlife believe prescribed fire helps maintain healthy oak forests.

They say controlled blazes help increase nutrient availability in the forest and remove some leaf litter and smaller trees and brush. That, in turn, allows more sunlight to reach the forest floor to regenerate oak and hickory trees and sun-loving plants.

Officials say 1,710 acres are scheduled for controlled burns during March, April and May on the southern Ohio forest’s Ironton Ranger District.

The forest supervisor says prescribed burns follow strict guidelines and take place only under specific weather conditions.

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