Controlled park burn becomes dog training ground - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Controlled park burn becomes dog training ground

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The Town Creek campsite at Lake Guntersville has been closed since the April tornados nearly two years ago. The Town Creek campsite at Lake Guntersville has been closed since the April tornados nearly two years ago.
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GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

It is a big chore cleaning up after a storm. The Town Creek campsite at Lake Guntersville has been closed since the April tornados nearly two years ago.

Smoke fills the air around Highway 227 next to the Town Creek campsite. But fire fighters are not putting it out, rather they are the ones lighting the fire.

Park officials said a controlled burn will help not only the park but Alabama A&M University as well.

For fire dog students, it gives them a chance to learn how to properly conduct a controlled burn. For the state park, it is clearing debris, which has been lying on the ground for nearly two years.

Park officials were hoping after the campsite is cleared they can begin the process of rebuilding the campsite. For the fire dogs, the park will become a new outdoor classroom for years to come.

Officials said it's very important to keep brush from growing in wilderness park areas because that's fuel for a fire.

"We're going to help them start a prescribed burning program here so that they can get all this tornado damage under control. This will be an annual event where we'll burn usually more than three or four of their tracts at a time and get it back into control in the right weather conditions instead of wildfire, which will destroy it," said Daryl Lawson, a coordinator of the fire dogs.

Park officials said that at least some of the primitive campgrounds will be open later this spring.

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