Dan Wood cuts back toward the road while lighting a path of fire during a controlled burn at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge on Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Dan Wood cuts back toward the road while lighting a path of fire during a controlled burn at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge on Friday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Fire crews methodically moved across a section of the southwest corner of Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge on Friday as part of a controlled burn.

Big Oaks typically treats between 10,000 and 14,000 acres of property with the method each year for brush control, which reduces the fuel that could feed wildfires.

The burns also help to manage the habitat for the Henslow Sparrow and the Crawfish Frog and other wildlife. The prescribed burn season continues through mid-April.

The prescribed burns only are conducted when refuge director Joe Robb and refuge fire management officer Brian Winters determine that the conditions, including wind speed and humidity, are safe for implementation.