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Corps holds controlled burn on Lake Lanier island in north Forsyth

NORTH FORSYTH — For anyone driving around the Browns Bridge Road area of northeast Forsyth who sees the remnants of a fire on an island in Lake Lanier, don’t worry — it’s just smoke on the water.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a prescribed burn Wednesday on an island off Bethel Park. The fire never posed a danger to residents or anyone on the lake, authorities said.

Ken Brooks, a ranger with the Dawson-Forsyth County Georgia Forestry Commission, confirmed the corps handled the burn.

Prescribed, or controlled, burns are periodically used to keep the makeup and existing vegetation under control, Brooks explained.

They don’t just torch everything in sight. Some burns are done by hand as a large-scale weed-whacking effort, clearing smaller trees and brush to allow others to grow.

“It’s a huge benefit in a lot of ways,” he said.

Some burns benefit local animals, too, by allowing specific plants the room and sunlight to grow.

White smoke smoldering from Wednesday’s burn has been determined safe and contained.