(HURON COUNTY) -- The DNR recently conducted a series of prescribed fires on five sites totaling 535 acres in Huron County's Verona State Game Area. The fires were conducted in conjunction with other area wildlife habitat improvement projects as part of the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative. The initiative is intended to enhance small game hunting opportunities, increase wildlife populations, improve hunter satisfaction and help Michigan's economy. Area managers burn grassland areas in the spring on a regular 3-5-year rotation to control tree and brush encroachment on grasslands. The blackened appearance lasts only a few weeks and the overall wildlife habitat improvement lasts for multiple years. Wildlife such as wild turkey and deer will use the burned areas immediately after the site cools to take advantage of the newly uncovered food sources, such as insects and unburned plant growth lying just underneath the ash.