Prescribed Fire Season Begins in January

Periodic controlled fires improve habitats and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

South-Central Mississippi | January 24, 2012

Residents and visitors may see a bit more smoke in the air beginning this month, as staff from The Nature Conservancy and related agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service start the prescribed fire season to prevent wildfires and promote healthy forests for plants and animals.

Prescribed burning is the controlled use of fire by a team of experts to safely reduce the amount of brush, shrubs and trees in a particular area. Such fires help improve habitats for plants and animals that have become adapted to regular fires, and also reduces the potential for catastrophic wildfires. The prescribe fires are carefully planned and managed, and take place only under specific weather conditions.

Residents and drivers are reminded that the risk of smoke may increase on roads during prescribed burns, due to the possibility of unexpected shifting winds. Always proceed with caution, decrease your speed, and turn on your headlights if you encounter smoky conditions.

Forests in Mississippi are burned through prescribed fires on a regular basis, and prescribed burns are also used by private companies and landowners to help prevent wildfires and effectively manage land.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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