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Prescribed Fire for Land & Wildlife Management

Prescribed burning is a vital part of land management for both timber health and wildlife management. Timing of the fire is a factor that highly influences the outcome. On tracts of land with heavy undergrowth (fuel), prescribed burning is best to take place during the cool season. When there is a great deal of fuel on a tract it is generally best to use a back fire. A back fire is created by allowing the fire to burn into the wind. By burning into the wind, this allows for a slower cooler burn since the fire is not able to get a full head of steam, burning slower allows the fire to consume more of the underbrush. A back fire also helps to keep a fire from jumping fire lanes. The consistent wind patterns during this time of year provide dependable fire travel direction and the cool temperature lessens temperature stress to the timber stand. Burning is often used to eliminate competing hardwood species in stands of pine timber. Reduction of competition will allow for a pine stand to capture growing space. Prescribed burning is also beneficial to wildlife management. Species such as wild turkey and quail benefit greatly from burning. However it is important to leave some areas thicker to allow for nesting areas and cover for all wildlife. It is recommended to “stagger” your burn area each year to leave areas for game. High caution should always be taken while using fire for land management; good fire lanes should be installed or maintained beforehand. Wind conditions should always be watching closely before and during the burn. Smoke management should also be taken into account near smoke sensitive areas such as highways and urban areas. We recommend consulting with a forester or someone experienced with burning before beginning your burning process.

The below video shows a prescribed burn conducted in Dallas County recently.