Forest Service to conduct prescribed burns in Fairfield

A Forest Service wildland firefighter uses a drip torch during a prescribed burn on the Andrew Pickens Ranger District in Oconee County, South Carolina. Natural resources managers use prescribed fire to reduce wildfire threats and restore native habitats across South Carolina. | USDA

COLUMBIA – USDA Forest Service fire specialists have begun conducting prescribed burns throughout South Carolina’s Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests. The planned burns will be conducted over the next six months and include approximately 118,000 acres.

The Enoree Ranger District is planning burns on 35,000 acres in Chester, Fairfield, Laurens, Newberry and Union counties.

Prescribed burns are ignited by trained personnel and partners to remove excess fuels, such as vegetation and dead wood, which would enable wildfires to burn hotter and longer. Applying prescribed fire on the land at the right place, at the right time, under the right conditions benefits the land and the surrounding communities.

Prescribed fire is used as a critical management tool to improve plant and animal habitat and the resiliency of forest landscapes to withstand drought, insects and disease. Prescribed fire activity is dependent on the availability of trained Forest Service personnel, equipment, weather, fuels and conditions that minimize smoke impacts to the public. Fire managers often prepare and plan approximately 30 percent more acres than they will prescribe burn each year to allow for adjustments for changing weather conditions.

The public may notice smoke in various parts of the national forests over the coming months. Drivers should use their low beams if they encounter smoke on the road. Please follow the Francis Marion & Sumter National Forests’ website and social media for prescribed burn notifications.

If you have questions about the following 2023 planned prescribed burns, contact the Sumter National Forest Service district office in Whitmire at (803) 276-4810.

Real-time interactive maps of active fires and burn notifications in South Carolina can viewed here:

The public can also view interactive maps of all completed burns and planned burn units for 2023 on national forests and grasslands across the southeastern United States here Southern Region Prescribed Burn Accomplishment Tracker.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]