Prescribed Fire Brings Life to the Wayne National Forest

Prescribed Fire Brings Life to the Wayne National Forest

Burn Window: Approximately Sept. 17 through Dec. 31, 2018

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (Sept. 14, 2018) – Fire helps maintain healthy oak forests, according to scientists who study native plants, birds and other wildlife. That’s why the Wayne National Forest uses fire as a tool to restore southern Ohio forests.

Fall marks the beginning of the forest’s prescribed burn season, during which professional firefighters plan to burn up to 415 acres between Sept. 17 and Dec. 31, 2018, on the Athens Ranger District.

“Prescribed fire is a management tool we have been using for over a decade in the Baileys area in Athens County. This area is noticeably different. It is more open, has different plant species, more oak seedlings, and has a reduced risk from wildlfire,” said Athens District Ranger Jason Reed. “We have also created conditions that promote a diverse population of wildlife species.” 

Area that is scheduled to be burned include:

Upper Bailey Prescribed Burn

Size: Approximately 415 acres

Location: Athens County, Buchtel and Chauncey Townships, in vicinity of Utah Ridge Road.


Prescribed fires are performed under specific weather conditions. The Wayne National Forest follows strict guidelines for conducting prescribed burns, and uses environmental factors including temperature, humidity, atmosphere stability, wind-direction and speed as well as smoke dispersion. If any of these conditions are not within limits, the burns will be postponed.


To learn more about prescribed burning on the Wayne, contact the Wayne National Forest Public Affairs Office at (740) 753-0862.

About the Wayne National Forest

Administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the Wayne National Forest is one of 154 national forests nationwide. As the only national forest in Ohio, the Wayne offers numerous avenues for connecting with the natural world through its 244,000 acres of varied landscape. Whether your interests lie more in outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking or camping, or include learning about the unique natural and cultural heritage of southeast Ohio, the fields and forests of the Wayne welcome you. To discover more about the Wayne National Forest, visit Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook via


The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes 20 states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit


The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit