Tennessee creating strike team for prescribed forest burns

Published 8:39 am Thursday, November 14, 2019

NASHVILLE (AP) — Forestry officials in Tennessee say a strike team is being created to perform prescribed burning on public and private forest land in the Cumberland Plateau.

Tennessee Division of Forestry officials said Tuesday that a $200,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will be used to expand forest fire use and management in Tennessee.

Officials say the forest strike team will perform prescribed burns on more than 1,200 acres (485 hectares) to help reduce damage from wildfires caused by excessive brush, shrubs and trees.

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Officials say prescribed fires also encourage native vegetation to grow and maintain plant and animal species whose habitats depend on periodic fire.

Tennessee’s forests cover 14 million acres (5.6 million hectares). That’s more than half of the state’s total acreage.