Prescribed fire season begins at national refuges

The staff of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in Madison and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Seymour are entering the spring prescribed fire season.

Smoke may be visible above the refuges during the season, which typically runs between February and April 15.

Prescribed burning on the refuge is conducted to improve wildlife habitat and reduce accumulation of fuels that lead to severe wildfires. It has been productive during this time for habitat management and brush control, according to a news release.

Officials with Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, which has historically treated between 10,000 and 14,000 acres annually with prescribed fire, has informed local officials of the planned management actions. Prescribed fire will only be conducted when conditions allow for safe implementation.

Any questions concerning the fall prescribed fire season may be directed to Big Oaks Refuge Manager Joe Robb or Fire Management Officer Brian Winters at 812-273-0783.