Massive Burn Project to Restore Forest


By WSIL Reporter

UNION COUNTY  --  A massive burn project is underway at the Trail of Tears State Forest.  It's one of the biggest forest officials have taken on in several years.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Saluki Fire Dogs are teaming up for a control burn project.

They're lighting two separate 200 acre lots that will burn simultaneously. It's part of a restoration project here at the Trail of Tears State Forest. 

"The forest is not healthy based on lots of different types of research so as we reintegrate fire, reintegrate thinning in the forest we're trying to maintain a healthiness and sustainability," said Dr. Charles Ruffner.

They're trying to weed out the smaller beech trees like this to make room for the larger oak and hickory trees.
He said, "To maintain the wildlife habitat, you have to maintain the forest structure to do that you have to do some type of manipulation and disturbance."
Anytime there are burns of this size, they alway have crews stay out overnight to make sure that the flames are contained.


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