Prescribed fire planned for Franklin County game lands

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to conduct a prescribed burn on approximately 227 acres of State Game Land 235 in Upper St Thomas Township, Franklin County.  Based on weather conditions and moisture in the ground and vegetation, the burn is planned for Burn Boss has given the go-ahead for this burn to be conducted on Thursday, April 14th.

The objective of the prescribed burn is to promote native hardwood and softwood regeneration. This would be accomplished by top killing most of the red maple and birch trees, providing additional sunlight to reach the ground and to eliminate clear out the leaf litter and other debris on the forest floor. 

Through the use of prescribed fire, the Game Commission is able to promote diverse plant communities, provide improved wildlife food and protective cover as well as create nesting areas for numerous wildlife species.

Prior to the controlled burn, the Burn Boss will receive updated weather data and conduct a ‘test burn’ to check the fire behavior and smoke dispersion patterns for the day.

During the prescribed burn, access to the site will be restricted and only trained people directly associated with the burn will be allowed access at or near the site.  Trained staff will be on hand with numerous pieces of fire equipment and water resources to oversee the burn treatment area.  All necessary local fire and emergency personnel will be advised and notified in advance.  As a result of the burn, the public may expect to see smoke on Thursday between approximately 10:00AM to 3:00PM.

For more information about a prescribed burn, please go to the Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council website at: www.paprescribedfire.org.  For more information about wildlife and habitat management, please visit the Game Commission’s website at www.pgc.state.pa.us