Forest staff planning prescribed burns


Hoosier National Forest has slated 12 areas, including one in Jackson County, for possible prescribed burns this spring.

The Jackson County possible prescribed burn involves Maumee, where four separate areas totaling 31 areas have been identified.

“As soon as the weather breaks and we get a few warm drying days, we could start burning,” said Jeremy Kolaks, a forest fuels specialist with the forest service.

All of the areas may not be burned this year, but all are available and may be selected dependent on the winds and local weather on any given day.

Kolaks said some of the areas have associated recreation trails running through them and will be under a closure order while the burns are being completed and for a period afterward until the area is safe.

If there are a significant number of burning trees remaining in the interior of the burns, they may be closed for several days for public safety. Signs are posted along the fire line and at any logical entry points into the area. Anyone using these areas should be aware that a prescribed burn is potentially planned in that vicinity.

Wind direction is often the limiting factor with adjacent roads or private homes, so Hoosier National Forest officials prioritize areas by ecological objectives and then wind direction.

Forest staff notifies the public in the immediate area of the prescribed burn by letter.

Kolaks said anyone with medical issues, such as asthma or emphysema, who live in a burn area and might be affected by smoke may contact the forest service.

For questions on the prescribed burns, to request notification or to report medical conditions, contact the Indiana Interagency Coordination Center dispatcher at 812-547-9262.

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