AVA, Mo. (Feb. 1, 2019) – The Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District (ACW RD) of Mark Twain National Forest intends to conduct a prescribed burn on the Brushy-Clayton area of the Ava Unit on Monday, Feb. 4. This prescribed burn unit is 2,560 acres in size, and is located east of State Road 125, approximately 18 miles south-southwest of Ava, MO. Visitors to Glade Top Trail may experience some smoke impacts on the day of the burn.
A prescribed fire is a fire ignited by highly-trained firefighting personnel under very specific fuel and weather conditions. Prescribed fires are used to reduce the threat of wildfire and to improve the health of native plants and wildlife habitat in Missouri. Deer, turkey, quail and other species benefit when plants they depend on for food and cover are rejuvenated by the use of prescribed fire. The glades ecosystems are very fire-dependent, and native plant and animal species endemic to the glades also benefit from these treatments.
Prescribed burns are conducted when favorable atmospheric conditions exist. These weather conditions disperse the smoke quickly and minimize smoke impacts to local communities. Although some smoke may be visible and affect nearby communities, agencies work closely with the National Weather Service and use smoke monitoring stations to predict potential smoke impacts. This enables prescribed burn planners to keep the smoke generated by the fire within federal and state air quality standards.
Signs will be posted on roads and trails near prescribed fire operations when burning is in progress. If you encounter smoke on the highway, please slow down, turn on your vehicle’s lights, and drive cautiously. Stay alert for firefighting equipment and other vehicles that may be stopped along the road. Neighboring landowners will be contacted prior to ignitions.
MTNF develops burn plans for prescribed fires that include criteria used to make burn-day decisions. Criteria used to minimize smoke impacts include—but are not limited to— temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, plants’ moisture levels, and terrain. Burn plans also outline strategies to promote smoke dilution and dispersion by controlling the rate of smoke emissions, and minimizing smoke output by applying appropriate burning techniques.