BEDFORD, Ind. (AP) — Hoosier National Forest officials are preparing about 20 planned fires in the southern Indiana woodlands over the coming weeks.

Forest officials say the controlled burns are set for areas in Brown, Crawford, Jackson, Lawrence, Orange, Martin and Perry counties covering some 4,600 acres in all. The fires are intended to improve wildlife habitat or restore woodlands.

Officials say the timing of each burn depends on weather and other conditions. Signs announcing the burns will be posted in the areas and they will also be listed on the Hoosier National Forest's website . Each area will be closed to the public for the burns and won't reopen until it is deemed safe.

The largest planned burns are two of about 1,000 acres each in Perry County.