• 77°
franklin county times

Federal grant will fund controlled burn

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Jan. 8, 2003
The Mississippi Forest Commission will use a $25,000 federal grant to do a controlled burn of 400 acres in the Bonita Lakes area.
Don Jemison, planning manager for the Meridian Community Development Department, told the city council Tuesday that the commission plans to burn land east and south of the lake.
The burn, he said, will reduce the buildup of leaves, needles, branches and other debris on the ground that could cause wildfires under certain conditions.
Forester Jack White said most of the wildfires in Mississippi occur in the spring when winds are high and conditions are dry. But, he said, wildfires can happen any time.
White said the U.S. Forest Service, which awarded the $25,000 grant, created the program in response to an increased number of wildfires in the West.
He said prescribed burns not only reduce the likelihood of wildfires, but also generate new growth and renewal of wildlife habitats.
Lauderdale County Forester Randy Bowles said the commission is waiting on the land to dry a bit. But, he said, plans call for starting the controlled burn within a month.
He said the public will be given a week's notice.