Large prescribed burns planned at Giant City State Park, Shawnee National Forest on Wed.

Large prescribed burns planned at Giant City State Park, Shawnee National Forest on Wed.
Fire crews with the U.S. Forest Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a prescribed fire on forest and private lands on Wednesday, March 24. (Source: S.C. Forestry Commission)

JACKSON and UNION COUNTIES, Ill. (KFVS) - Fire crews with the U.S. Forest Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be conducting a prescribed fire on forest and private lands on Wednesday, March 24.

The prescribed fires, often called controlled burns, will take place on approximately 430 acres at portions of Giant City State Park, Shawnee National Forest, and private lands west of Shiloh Road.

These areas are located in Jackson and Union Counties and are part of the Drury Creek East Prescribed Fire Unit.

Fire crews will be monitoring smoke which the public will likely see mid to late afternoon.

Smoke should clear before dark.

The burns will be postponed and others could be conducted if winds or other elements change.

The Forest Service says the fires are conducted to help maintain healthy forests and native plants that support wildlife.

Wednesday’s burns are to reduce elements that can fuel wildfires, reduce invasive species and to improve upland oak forests in the Cedar Lake Kudzu, Makanda - Mill Creek and Makanda - Drury Creek areas.

Several burns have been conducted in recent weeks on U.S. Forest Service and state park lands throughout southern Illinois, with more planned this spring and fall.

To view the Forest Service’s 2021 list and map of planned prescribed burns, click here.

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