ELKINS, W.Va (WDTV) – During March and April, Monongahela National Forest successfully completed three prescribed burns on 2,081 acres of National Forest System land in Greenbrier and Pendleton counties.
These prescribed burns are helping to re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.
The Prescribed burn at Peach Orchard was 1,119 acres, and the one at Lick Mountain was 405 acres. Both of these Greenbrier County burns help create conditions that favor oak-hickory and oak-pine communities and reduce vegetation in the understory resulting in increased wildlife habitat diversity, increased mast, and ultimately a healthier forest, officials said. Many wildlife species prefer a more open forest floor for breeding and foraging, which can result from periodic prescribed burning.
The Big Mountain Unit 1 Prescribed Burn, which was 557 acres, helps maintain the oak forest, promote oak regeneration, and will eventually increase the number of acorns, a critical food for wildlife.
Firefighters from Monongahela National Forest were assisted by several other organizations during prescribed burning this spring.
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