FEBRUARY 22, 2024

You may notice smoke rising over Georgia this weekend and into March. That’s because land managers working to enhance wildlife habitat and forested areas will be taking advantage of good weather conditions to do “prescribed burning.”

Prescribed burns are known as “good fires,” whereas uncontrolled and accidental fires are “bad fires” or “wildfires.” Certified and trained prescribed fire practitioners plan these good fires for times when the greatest ecological benefits are achieved with the fewest smoke impacts.

Some objectives of this burning include helping threatened and endangered plants or animals who are dependent on post-fire conditions, opening up feeding areas for wildlife, improving timber production, and burning off ground fuels to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Prescribed fire is a valued tool used by trained practitioners to improve ecological and silvicultural conditions.

The Georgia Forestry Commission manages the permitting system for prescribed fire. Permits are required for acreage burns. Land managers planning to burn should call1-800-GA-TREES (428-7337) to get a permit.

For more information about the many benefits of prescribed burning, visit

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