Burns planned on state game lands

HUNTINGDON — The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to conduct controlled burning operations, weather permitting, on State Game Lands in the Southcentral Region this week.

Among the area where burns are planned is State Game Lands 107 in Mifflin and Juniata counties. Lands in Centre and Bedford counties are also slated for controlled burns.

Weather and forest site conditions will dictate which sites will be chosen. Controlled burns are used to rejuvenate lands and make them more beneficial for wildlife.

These forested burns are targeted to improve habitat conditions by reducing competing vegetation, promoting native hardwood and forest shrub regeneration, increase mast production as well as reducing the threat of wildfires.

“All controlled burns are conducted by highly trained crews from the region to ensure the safety of themselves and the public,” said Southcentral Regional Director Brad Myers.

Actual operations are dependent on current weather and site conditions. Even if reported conditions are favorable, a test burn is conducted to observe fire behavior and smoke dispersion patterns to ensure on-site conditions reflect the same.

When a decision is made to go ahead with a burn, the specific county 911 centers, local police, emergency and township offices where the game land is located are notified. During the operational period, all access to the site will be restricted to trained staff directly associated with the burn. As a result of the burn, the public may expect to see smoke on this game land any day this week, primarily between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information about controlled fire, please go to the Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council website at: www.paprescribedfire.org. Additional information about wildlife and habitat management specifically related to prescribe fire may also be found on the Game Commission’s website at www.pgc.pa.gov.