FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Parts of two wildlife management areas in central Kentucky will be closed for two days towards the end of October as managers conduct prescribed burns to improve forest and grassland health and improve habitats preferred by native fauna.
Burns are planned on a 506-acre section of the Taylorsville Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Spencer County and on 130 acres of the John A. Kleber WMA in Franklin County as part of ongoing hardwood forest improvement projects.
The burns will be carried out on a weekday between October 18 and 29 when the burning conditions are optimal from an environmental and safety point of view. The exact dates are not known at the moment.
Managers will consider wind, air temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture and other factors before determining when to burn. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will post an update on their website (fw.ky.gov) and Twitter (@kyfishwildlife) when the dates are set.
Prescribed burn zones will be closed to the public during burns and will reopen when the active fire is no longer present in the units.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials, in conjunction with other partner agencies, will conduct the burning of the Lake Taylorsville EGM north of KY 3228 on the Briar Ridge section of the AGR. The AMM and its shooting range will not be accessible via KY 3228 if traveling west from KY 248 during this time. Other public accesses to Lake Taylorsville and the rest of the 9,418-acre WMA are not expected to be affected.
At Kleber WMA, the burn will be concentrated on the northwest side of KY 1707 (southwest of KY 368). Public access to the rest of the 4,245-acre WMA is not expected to be affected.
Adjacent property owners are notified of scheduled burns and areas will be monitored until all fires, embers and fumes are extinguished.
Officials have a narrow window of time to complete the burns this fall to achieve the desired results.
Prescribed burning is an effective tool for habitat management. The burn management objectives are to increase the production of nuts and red fruits and to improve the regeneration of oak trees. Burning slows plant growth in fields and along edges, creates desirable open spaces on the soil surface by removing leaf litter, improves native grass composition in fields, and helps control plants invasive.
Fall is an optimal time to use fire to eradicate unwanted tree species and to promote the regeneration and growth of nut-producing trees such as oak and hickory.
For more information on prescribed burning, visit kyfire.org.