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Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to conduct prescribed burning today, April 29, 2021 

Weather conditions are favorable for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) fire management crews to conduct a prescribed burn operation, today, April 29, 2021. This burn will occur on Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Mossler Unit Q, in Lacombe, LA.

The objectives of this controlled burn activity are to restore and maintain habitat for the Red Cockaded Woodpecker and other species associated with pine flat woods and brackish marsh habitats, maintain and restore the historical fire dependent plant communities of these habitats, and to improve and increase the availability of nutrient rich food for wildlife. Controlled burn operations are carefully planned to ensure areas are burned under optimal conditions to benefit natural resources while keeping the public and fire management crews safe.

Signage is posted along roads bordering the prescribed burn unit and minimal impact to the public is expected. Smoke may be observed coming off the refuge between Lacombe and Slidell.

The USFWS has assumed a leadership role in the use of prescribed burns to maintain and support healthy ecosystems. Prescribed burns are a cost-effective tool for land and resource managers to help reduce the risk of devastating wildfires that can threaten people, fish, wildlife, and plants.

For more information, contact Assistant Fire Management Officer Chris LeRouge at 985/640-3288 or at chris_lerouge@fws.gov.

USFWS Photo: Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge aerial map of prescribed fire unit, Mossler Unit Q.