Controlled Seasonal Burns Begin Today at Big Oaks

Controlled burns to begin today at Big Oaks (JPG)

2023 Spring Prescribed Fire Season  


The Staff of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Madison, IN and Muscatatuck NWR in Seymour, IN would like to notify the public that we are entering our spring prescribed fire season. The spring prescribed fire season typically runs between February and April 15th.  During this time frame smoke may be visible above the refuges. Prescribed burning on the refuge is conducted to improve wildlife habitat and reduce the accumulation of fuels that lead to severe wildfires.  Big Oaks NWR has historically treated between 10,000 and 14,000 acres annually with prescribed fire. A prescribed fire during this time period is especially productive for habitat management and brush control.   


We have informed local officials of our planned management actions.  Prescribed fire will only be conducted when conditions allow for safe implementation.  Any questions concerning the fall prescribed fire season may be directed to Refuge Manager Joe Robb or Fire Management Officer Brian Winters at (812)273-0783.  



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 96-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. 

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