Wildlife refuge ignites 350 acres in controlled burn

February 22, 2012 

Crews ignited 350 acres of mostly marsh grass during a controlled burn today at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge near the junction of U.S. 17 and S.C. 170.

The goal of the burns is to improve habitat for water fowl and other wildlife and reduce the risk of wildfires by restoring grassland, controlling brush and increasing diversity of native plants and wildlife, fire management officer Rob Wood said.

Burns are timed to minimize impact on wildlife and people.

Controlled burns are planned and carried out by trained firefighters operating under strict conditions that take into account wind speed and direction, humidity, fuel moisture and other factors, Wood said. If weather conditions don’t match the prescription, the fire is not started. Smoke from the fires is a concern, and plans call for burning during specific wind conditions to minimize impact on roads and communities, he said.

“We decided to do it after the rains this weekend to make it manageable,” Wood said.

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