On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southern Mississippi. As the storm passed through Mississippi, it maintained hurricane force winds through the northern part of the State affecting all of the Forests. The eye of the storm passed within a few miles of the De Soto Ranger District, the Forest's southern-most district. Much of the District received moderate to heavy damage to timber and facilities. The De Soto Ranger District had historically prescribed burned 60,000 acres per year. In the 5 years prior to hurricane Katrina, the District had increased its prescribed fire program to an average of 94,000 acres per year. While Hurricane Katrina created a serious large fuel loading, the fact that most of the District has been regularly prescribed burned, prevented the problem from being exacerbated by having the new fuels being piled atop the new growth of volatile brush, which is common in the lower coastal plains. The National Forests in Mississippi developed an aggressive three-pronged strategy to deal with the sudden increase in fuel loading and the subsequent potential for catastrophic wildfire: (1) remove the large, downed material as quickly as possible, through conventional salvage operations; (2) establish fuel breaks in critical Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas; and (3) reestablish landscape scale prescribed fire treatments immediately.