Clemson University experimental forest burned in wildfire

(Clemson, S.C) – The recent wildfires that swept through parts of Upstate South Carolina managed to consume part of a forest managed by Clemson University.

Eight acres of the 17,500-acre experimental forest were scorched two weeks ago, according to the CU Experimental Forest manager.

The forest is used to teach conservationists and students about environmental issues including wildfires. Manager Russell Hardee tells 7 News he uses controlled burns to clear away dead brush known in the industry as “fuel.”

“We have to monitor our fuel loads,” Hardee said. “We need to make sure that we’re not allowing leaves and sticks and twigs and other dead material to accumulate.”

The amount of dead brush in the experimental forest was unusually high this year because of drought conditions. Hardee says he and his staffers burned about 100 acres more than it usually does because of the excessive brush.

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