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Controlled Burning

2016 Burn Window Status

2016 Fall Burn Locations:  Controlled burning rejuvenates wildlife habitat and improves hunting opportunity. The Game Commission will be conducting controlled burns in some areas. Controlled burning rejuvenates wildlife habitat and improves hunting opportunity. The Game Commission will be conducting controlled burns March through May. Game land users should be aware of signs placed near potential burn areas. While access to the specific burn area will be closed on burn day, access will be re-opened soon after the burn, usually the next day. We often see wildlife coming in to fresh burns (even before the smoke clears) so wildlife watchers and spring turkey hunters should key in on these areas.  This map informs the public of controlled burns.
Controlled Burning to Improve Hunting Opportunity Controlled burning improves wildlife habitat and hunting opportunity by: increasing soft mast production in shrubs like blueberry, huckleberry, and blackberry, rejuvenating succulent browse plants preferred by deer and elk, promoting oak habitats and their vitally important acorns, and maintaining grasses and broadleaf plants sought by brooding turkeys and grouse.

Is Burning the Woods Safe? Controlled burns are conducted under very specific weather and "fuel" conditions ensuring burns are low to moderate intensity (fuel refers to the dried leaves, grasses, and brush that are consumed in the burn). Additionally, controlled burns are normally repeated every 3 to 10 years, preventing fuels from building to dangerous levels. In this way, controlled burns also reduce the risk of unplanned wildfires. Controlled burns are conducted by highly trained crews with hundreds of hours of training and experience. Long before burn day, crews are planning operations and prepping burn lines to ensure safety, both for themselves and the public.

Is Wildlife Harmed?
​Controlled burn ignition patterns provide wildlife escape routes as the burn progresses. Burning during appropriate weather conditions ensures spread rates are slow and flame heights are low. From fawns to turtles, even the slowest wildlife can reach safety. Before the smoke clears animals are often seen returning to burned areas. Because peak controlled burning occurs in spring, we often hear concerns over impacts to ground nesting birds like turkeys and grouse. Controlled burns may disrupt a few nests; however hens often re-nest and some nests in the burn area may not be harmed. Most importantly, burns occur on a relatively small percentage (less than 10%) of the landscape. In that light, the direct impacts are quite small and benefits far outweigh potential negatives.

Learn more about controlled burns in the
Game Commission blog, this 40-minute webinar on Fire's Role in the Pennsylvania Ecosystem, or by visiting the PA Prescribed Fire Council Facebook page. 

 

2016 Burn Window Status

Updated 11/7/2016

A safe and effective controlled burn is very dependent on both site and weather conditions. An anticipated burn window is established between time periods when optimum site and weather conditions could be present. As more exact weather and site conditions become known, the window for the burn is narrowed.

SGL 33 – Centre County – Rush & Taylor Twp. – 306 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 23 – November 18
Current Status: To be announced when anticipated date is established.

SGL 44 – Elk Co. – Spring Creek Twp. –202 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: To be announced when anticipated date is established.

SGL 80 – Lebanon County – Swatara & Bethel Twp. – Monroe Valley Burn – Unit 1 –Blacklining burn only*
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Burn completed on Nov. 16th.

*The purpose of this controlled burn practice is to burn a 50 to 100 foot wide strip, referred to as a “black-lining” along the uphill firebreak. This will remove leaves and sticks from the strip to create a wider firebreak in anticipation of burning the entire unit in the spring of 2017.

SGL 84 - Northumberland County - East Cameron Township - 240 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: To be announced when anticipated date is established.

SGL 100 – Centre County – Burnside Township –Unit 7 – 62 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: To be announced when anticipated date is established.

SGL 100 – Centre County – Burnside Township – Unit 8 – 59 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: To be announced when anticipated date is established.

SGL 110 – Berks & Schuylkill Co. – Upper Tulpehocken & Wayne Twp. – West Northkill Burn – 348 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Burn completed on Nov. 14th

SGL 165 - Northumberland County - Coal Township - 624 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: To be announced when anticipated date is established.

SGL 210 – Dauphin County – Jefferson Township – Greenland East Burn, Unit 2 – 88 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Burn completed on Nov. 8th

SGL 210 – Dauphin County – Jefferson Township – Peters Mountain West Burn – 399 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Burn completed on Nov. 7th

SGL 211 – Dauphin County – Middle Paxton Township – Third Mountain Burn – 220 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Did not complete.  Future burn window will be announced when established.

SGL 211 – Dauphin County – Middle Paxton Township – Wild Turkey East & West Burn – 130 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Did not complete.  Future burn window will be announced when established.

SGL 217— Schuylkill County - West Penn Township – Baer Rocks Burn – Unit 2 – 141 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status: Did not complete.  Future burn window will be announced when established.

SGL 264— Dauphin County – Wiconisco Township – Big Lick Burn – Unit 3 – 109 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: October 24 – November 18
Current Status:  Burn completed on Nov. 18th 

 

2016 Grassland Burn Window Status

Updated 12/02/2016

A safe and effective controlled burn is very dependent on both site and weather conditions. An anticipated burn window is established between time periods when optimum site and weather conditions could be present. As more exact weather and site conditions become known, the window for the burn is narrowed.

SGL 46 – Lancaster & Lebanon County – Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area – 5 Units – for a total of approx. 60 acres
Anticipated Burn Window: Ongoing as weather and site conditions permit.
Current Status:  To be announced when anticipated date is established.