Mt. Vernon Register-News

April 1, 2013

Wet weather hampers controlled burns in forest

Associated Press


GOLCONDA (AP) — With much of the nation gripped by drought last year, it's wet weather that has dampened some efforts at the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

WSIL-TV ( reports that crews in the sprawling forest haven't been able to do as many controlled burns as they'd like because of wet conditions there last spring, fall and even lately.

The forest's fuel specialist, Scott Crist, says the burns help curb the potential spread of any fire that might erupt on the acreage.

And the controlled fires also help reduce shade that could kill off native grasses and flowers that need sunlight.

During what has been a wet spring for the forest, crews have burned 1,700 acres so far, well short of the goal of 5,000 to 10,000 acres.