Environment
7:43 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Wet Weather Hampers Controlled Burns in Shawnee Forest

Credit Jeff Jones / http://salinecountychamber.org

Wet weather has dampened some under-brush maintenance 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. Shawnee’s fuel specialist Scott Crist, says the burns help curb the potential spread of any fire that might erupt on the acreage. 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. That’s well short of the 5,000 to 10,000 acre goal.