Wet Spring Hampers Shawnee Forest Controlled Burns
GOLCONDA, IL - With much of the nation gripped by drought last year, it's wet weather than has dampened efforts at performing controlled burns in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.
During what has been a wet spring for the forest, crews have intentionally burned 1,700 acres so far, well short of the goal of 5,000 to 10,000 acres.
WSIL-TV reports that crews in the sprawling forest haven't been able to do as many as controlled burns as they'd like because of wet conditions there last fall, winter and this spring.
As the forest's fuel specialist, Scott Crist says the burns help curb the potential spread of any fire that might erupt on the acreage.
Additionally, the controlled fires help reduce shade that could kill off native grasses and flowers that need sunlight.