SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The Shawnee National Forest plans to use prescribed fire on Thursday, April 5, weather permitting.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, people living west of Equality or around Eldorado may notice smoke coming from the area of Cave Hill in Saline County.
They said they will monitor smoke generated during the prescribed burn. Members of the public can expect smoke to be visible in mid-afternoon and dissipate within a few hours.
The Forest Service said a prescribed fire is a planned fire that is overseen by professionals. Fall marked the beginning of the forest's prescribed burn season, during which professionals plan to burn up to about 10,000 acres.
They said prescribed fires are performed under specific weather conditions and are designed to mimic fire that historically occurred in the forest.
Fire helps maintain healthy oak forests, according to scientists who study birds, native plants and other wildlife. That's why Shawnee National Forest uses fire as a tool to restore southern Illinois forests.