Fire used to manage forests

Fighting fire with fire has gained new meaning in forest management. Prescribed fires reduce accumulated leaf litter, dead limbs and brush that can fuel wildfires. Controlled burns can improve the growth of pine trees and provide open areas needed to grow food for bobwhite quail, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and other wildlife.

Currently, about 500,000 acres are burned each year in South Carolina; but that is only about half the acreage that could benefit from prescribed fire.

The S.C. Prescribed Fire Council is seeking to reduce wildfires, improve forest health and wildlife habitat in South Carolina through controlled burns. Members include the state Forestry Commission, the Department of Natural Resources, Clemson University, other state and federal agencies, and private organizations.

For more information: Knight Cox, 656-4833, kcox@clemson.edu