Crews start controlled burn at Mark Twain National Forest in Pulaski County, Mo.

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 5:48 PM CST
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LAQUEY, Mo. (KY3) - On Wednesday, crews started and contained a prescribed burn at Mark Twain National Forest.

They set the forest on fire to eliminate debris or dead plant life. The idea was years in the making.

“It’s been about two years in the making, when the initial idea was proposed, to where we are today,” said Jim Cornelaus, a fire staff officer.

With perfect weather conditions, firefighters started small fires to eliminate old trees and debris that could help future fires spread.

“It’s going to prevent future wildfires from becoming catastrophic by reducing that fuel load,” said Cody Norris, a public affairs officer for Mark Twain National Forest.

Helping set the fire was a new all-veteran forest firefighting crew.

”It’s an opportunity to take veterans that have an interest in a career wildland fire. So we have a crew of ten people. They’re all veterans,” said Cornelaus.

The Mark Twain veteran crew will be based out of Cassville. Sam Bowen is one of those firefighters.

“The way we do things is really similar to the way we do things military,” said Bowen, “Just in everything from our, our org chart to our chain of command to our ops tempo and working out in the elements under whatever conditions.”

For those that live in the area, you should not see too much smoke due to the rain that is headed towards the Ozarks.

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