Burns ongoing at Grist Park

Published 11:49pm Tuesday, January 18, 2011

VALLEY GRANDE — Controlled burns that began in December at Paul M. Grist State Park will continue through January, according to a release from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Alabama State Parks Division plans a controlled burn of 85 acres during the month.

When the burns began, state Parks Forester Don Burdette said the project will make the park more aesthetically pleasing to visitors.

“We burned some areas three years ago and it’s excellent for deer. They are really out there,” he said. “If it got much taller we wouldn’t get the benefit of being able to see them and it would go back to being a blind spot. Every three or four years we try to burn it to keep it from going back.”

The burns, Burdette said, are a practice that is performed periodically to control undergrowth. Wildlife in the area often benefit tremendously from the burns.

The January burn is being conducted for fuel hazard reduction and wildlife habitat improvement in eight separate burn compartments. Staff and equipment from the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Valley Grande Fire Department will assist the Alabama State Parks Division.

Burdette said every effort will be made to ensure the safety and proper smoke management during this period.

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