Prescribed burn planned for Rothrock State Forest

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources plans to have a prescribed burn in Potter Township at Rothrock State Forest.

The burn, which has been planned for more than a year, could take place Wednesday along the Underwood Trail near Crowfield Road, but could be pushed back to Thursday depending on weather. It is also possible the burn doesn’t take place this week.

“The window of opportunity will only be open for the next few weeks,” a DCNR press release said. “The weather plays the single biggest factor in determining the day this takes place, so there is no way to pinpoint an exact date in advance. This prescribed fire should be completed in one day, but will be staffed as long as is deemed necessary for suppressing any remaining fire.”

People traveling over the Seven Mountains area of Route 322 may have limited visibility cause by smoke if the burn takes place Wednesday or Thursday. Signage will be posted to make drivers aware of this possibility.

The fire will be implemented by the DCNR Bureau of Forestry’s Rothrock State Forest staff and personnel from other state forest districts. The bureau will also partner with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The focus of the burn, according to DCNR, is to “promote sustainable forestry by removing competing vegetation in order to regenerate these forest stands with desirable tree seedlings. Once the competing vegetation is removed and mineral soil is exposed, more desirable tree seedlings will be able to germinate and become established.”

If the weather is not conducive for the controlled burn this spring, it will be postponed until the spring of 2016 or later.