KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -

The Tennessee Valley Authority is beginning its annual series of prescribed burns on public lands managed by the agency.

According to a news release from the utility, burns in Alabama and Tennessee are planned near the following reservoirs: Chickamauga, Guntersville, Wheeler, Pickwick, Tims Ford, Kentucky and Bear Creek.

TVA's Bruce Schofield said in the release that the controlled burns are used to maintain and establish wildlife habitat and to reduce the thatch and leaves that help fuel wildfires.

The burns run through May.