Two controlled burns set to take place today in Rabun County

RABUN COUNTY — On Thursday, April 12th, the U.S. Forest Service – Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, Chattooga River Ranger District will be conducting two prescribed fires in Rabun County at Tallulah Gorge and west of Lake Burton.

Tallulah Gorge Burn Unit:

This burn unit is 101 acres and will be burned in conjunction with a 1,309-acre burn on the north rim of Tallulah Gorge State Park, managed by the Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Division – Georgia DNR. The burn is expected to begin early morning and last until mid-afternoon.

This burn will require temporarily closing the Forest Service Road 158 for public safety. For more information on public closures at Tallulah Gorge State Park please call 706-754-7981.

Based on the weather forecast, the smoke is projected to head to the North and North East of the burn unit and will be visible from the Hwy 441 corridor from Hollywood, Ga. north to Clayton, Ga., as well as areas of South Carolina, including the U.S. Forest Service – Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests.

All motorists are urged to use caution in areas where smoke may be visible.

Bramlet Ridge Burn Unit (west of Lake Burton):

This burn unit is 2,206 acres, located between Wildcat Creek and Moccasin Creek on the west side of Rabun County. This burn is expected to begin late morning and last until mid-afternoon.

This burn will require temporarily closing the Forest Service Road 26-1 (Wildcat Road) and the Hemlock Falls Trail at the end of Forest Service Road 127 (Lower Moccasin Road) for public safety.

Based on the weather forecast, the smoke is projected to head to the North and North East of the burn unit and will be visible from the Hwy 76 from Dicks Creek Gap (Towns and Rabun County line) to Clayton GA, as well as in Tate City GA and areas of North Carolina. In addition, those hiking the Appalachian Trail may see smoke from Tray Mountain GA to Carter Gap NC.

All motorists are urged to use caution in areas where smoke may be visible.

The purpose of these areas being burned is to help reduce hazardous wildland fuels buildup, to help promote forest health, and to create and improve wildlife and native plant habitat.

The #GoodFire operation is by the U.S. Forest Service, in cooperation with Wildlife Resources Division – Georgia DNR, Tallulah Gorge State Park, The Nature Conservancy and the Georgia Forestry Commission.

If weather conditions on-site change or become unfavorable, the controlled burn is subject to being canceled.

Benefits of Prescribed Fire:

– Maintains healthy forests

– Mitigates wildfire risks

– Maintains quality wildlife habitat of both game and nongame species

– Improves stand access and aesthetics

– Prepares sites for both natural and artificial reforestation

– Controls tree diseases

– Controls insects

– Effectively manages fuels in the Wildland Urban Interface

– Perpetuates fire-dependent ecosystems and associated species