CLARKSBURG W.Va. (WBOY) — Monongahela National Forest has announced plans to conduct prescribed burns throughout the spring season.

According to a Friday United States Forest Service (USFS) release, 1,251 acres in Pocahontas, Greenbrier and Pendleton counties will be subjected to prescribed burns from March through June, depending on environmental conditions.

“The purposes of these treatments are to re-establish fire’s natural role in the forest ecosystem, improve forest health and wildlife habitat, and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires,” the release said.

Prescribed burns will be held at:

  • Big Mountain Unit 9 & 10– 55 acres (Pendleton County)
  • Chestnut Ridge North/South Savanna Units 1 & 2 – 212 acres (Pocahontas County)
  • Hopkins Units A, B & C – 844 acres (Greenbrier County)
  • Brushy Mountain Units B2, B4 & B6 – 140 acres (Greenbrier County)

Burn areas will be closed on their respective day and possibly for several days after, with signs being posted nearby before and during the burning and local radio stations sending alerts ahead of time. Officials urge anyone traveling through the area to drive cautiously.

“If you encounter smoke on the highway, slow down, turn on your vehicle’s lights and drive appropriately for the conditions,” the release said.

The burning for Chestnut Ridge North/South Savanna Units 1 & 2 is in progress as of Friday.

Information about burns in progress will be posted online.

The USFS announced other areas of Monongahela National Forest that will be subjected to prescribed burns on March 15.