Posted: Feb 28, 2013 8:13 AM by AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Two very different federal wilderness areas in Louisiana are closed for controlled burns.
The Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to set fire, starting Thursday, to nearly 6,000 acres of marsh in the Lacassine Wildlife Refuge.
The Forest Service hopes to burn about 4,300 acres in the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness Area of the Kisatchie National Forest. It's closing the entire 8,700-acre wilderness area, including the Backbone, Highridge, Long Leaf Vista and Turpentine Hill trails.
Forest managers use controlled burns to limit accumulation of branches and brush that could otherwise feed a disastrous wildfire. Their other uses include preventing the spread of invasive species and native insect pests and improving wildlife habitat.
Visitors can call the Kisatchie Ranger District Office at (318) 472-1840 to learn when the trails will reopen.