TVA hosts last controlled burn in Marshall County

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. - With the help of Alabama A&M and the US Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Valley Authority hosted a prescribed burn in hopes of controlling exotic plants on their lands.

They conduct these burns every three to five years starting in the month of February. "This area, Pre-European settlement, you had fire that naturally burned the area and it actually enhances the vegetation. You have fire-adapted communities," said land specialist, Jack Muncy.

Using fire in a controlled way is very beneficial to the land. "It could be in fuel reduction to help prevent wildfires," said Muncy. In this case, it's for the preservation of plants.

TVA says these burns are all about stewardship, making sure invasive plants don't take over the native ones. "Most plants need sunlight. When you have an invasive plant that's over top a native, then it's actually controlling the site and controlling what species of plants thrive and grow."

The purpose of these burns isn't to completely get rid of invasive plants. "We are trying to knock them back to a level that our natives can compete with them and provide quality wildlife habitat," said Muncy.

The goal is to make a more cohesive environment with a variety of vegetation.