Gov. Nathan Deal recently designated by proclamation the first week in February to be observed annually as Prescribed Fire Awareness Week for Georgia to recognize land managers who protect and maintain the state’s forest resources.
The governor will be joined by members of the Georgia Prescribed Fire Council, which works with Georgia Forestry Commission and other cooperators to encourage the exchange of information, techniques and experiences among practitioners of prescribed burning in Georgia.
GAPFC advocates prescribed burning as one of the most environmentally and economically feasible methods for managing the state’s valuable forest resources. For more information, go to www.garxfire.com.
According to the GFC, “On average, Georgia prescribe burns about 1.5 million acres of forest lands each year.”
Professional foresters and other land managers throughout the state use prescribed burning for reforestation, aesthetics and forest access.
As a land-management tool, prescribed fire is essential for managing wildlife species such as bobwhite quail, eastern wild turkey, white-tailed deer, many songbirds, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and many other fire-dependent species.
Prescribed burning is the only known forest-management method that perpetuates the longleaf/wiregrass ecosystem, Georgia’s most diverse flora and fauna ecosystem.