Prescribed burning in Kisatchie - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Prescribed burning in Kisatchie

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POLLOCK, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Fire can be a forest's most powerful and unexpected enemy. But this fire was no accident. This one was prescribed.
"It is burning up all this vegetation, this burn is a fuel reduction," said Kandra Lewis, with TMA.
It's a controlled burn in the Kisatchie National Forest, a chance for forest renewal and replenishment.
-"It is sort of ironic that way. Controlled burning helps us maintain a healthy forest," said Amy Robertson with Kisatchie National Forest.
Even though it seems destructive, the fire helps get rid of unwanted shrubs and plants to help the forest grow better.
The blaze helps protect the long leaf pine habitat, by burning away unwanted underbrush and plants--the removal of the underbrush also helps clear out the area so that more wildlife can inhabit the forest.
"So they out compete what you are looking for as far as the grasses and the long leaf pine component," said fire management officer Mark Ploski.
Even though it may seem a little ironic, burning the forest helps prevent a wildfire from starting.
"Maybe would reduce the chance of having a wildfire if you don't have all that brush that you see in the forest," said Robertson.
And to protect those controlling the fire, helicopters are used to drop plastic sphere dispensers to set the forest ablaze.
"Instead of putting people in here walking and stuff we use the helicopter. It is a little bit safer as far as putting people at risk by fighting the vines and stuff that are in there."

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