Scheduled burn set to occur at OMSP on Jan. 31

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2024

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Officials from Oak Mountain State Park announced that a prescribed burn will take place at Double Oak Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Park officials announced that the Alabama State Parks Division will be responsible for conducting the burn as requested for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Although larger amounts of smoke are possible due to recent wet weather, OMSP has stated that every effort possible will be taken to ensure proper smoke management during the period.

“Please do not be alarmed if you see smoke,” read an official social media release from OMSP. “The needed teams are on hand to navigate this planned, prescribed fire.”

As part of the announcement, park visitors also assured that no trailheads or parking areas will be closed or affected as part of the process. However, sections of the Lake Trail will be affected and will therefore be closed from public access throughout the burn period.

Originally set to occur earlier in the week on Monday, Jan. 29, the burn was delayed due to wet weather conditions that made properly performing the burn impossible.

This upcoming burn, and those like it, are common practices used in forestry management to control the growth and prevalence of invasive species, restore natural plant growth and wildlife habitation and to reduce fuel sources for wildfires such as fallen trees, leaves and small brush.

While prescribed burns take place throughout the year in Alabama provided certain conditions are met, such as the lack of a drought, cool season burns like this one are primarily used to reduce forest litter and to serve as a preventative for future uncontrolled wildfires.

Those wishing to learn more about prescribed fires and controlled burns are encouraged by OMSP to visit the Outdoor Alabama website at Bit.ly/3U8wA5o for more information.