BEDFORD, Ind. – The U.S. Forest Service is using controlled burns to maintain or improve habitats in the Hoosier National Forest.
The prescribed burns also maintain wetlands, restore unique barrens ecosystems, and regenerate oak and hickory.
Many planned burns had to be postponed until this spring due to the overly moist and cold conditions last fall.
Officials say about 20 prescribed burns are planned for the following counties: Jackson, Martin, Orange, Perry and Crawford. The sizes of the areas to be burned vary, with the largest unit being 1,120 acres.
Specific recreation sites that will be affected include: Fork Ridge Trails, Mogan Ridge Trails (both east and west), portions of Oriole Trail (east of Ind. 66), Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area (the access road to Indian Lake and the south section of Two Lakes Loop Trail).
All designated burn areas will be closed to the public on the day of the burn and for some time after the burn until the area is considered safe.
Video by Photojournalist Dave Novak.