The U.S. Forest Service plans to burn 210 acres of the forest about 10 miles southeast of Piedmont, near Forest Service roads 553 and 553D, near the Shoal Creek Church, according to a release from the Forest Service. That may send smoke toward White Plains, Rabbittown and Holley Crossroads along Alabama 9. The release says drivers in the area should use caution.
Smoke from the fire is expected to blow north-northwest early, shifting east later toward Alabama 9.
Meanwhile, crews also plan to burn 41 acres of the forest 5 miles east of Munford in the Salt Creek Church area. Salt Creek Road forms a portion of the fire boundary, and should be traveled with caution, according to the Forest Service. Drivers may also see Forest Service crews and equipment.
Smoke from the Salt Creek fire may also be visible on Alabama 21. Winds from the southeast are expected to carry the smoke towards Oxford, and the smoke may settle tonight along Alabama 21 between Oxford and Munford.
Controlled burns are fires set and monitored by Forest Service workers. The burns are intended to remove fuel that could lead to uncontrollable fires if allowed to accumulate. They also help to promote the growth of longleaf pines by burning away competitor species.