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Prescribed Fire 2014

Why Do We Burn?

One of the most important management tools in habitat management is prescribed fire.

Prescribed (or "controlled") burning is a means of reintroducing this natural process. A controlled burn involves identifying the area to be burned (the "burn unit"), establishing control lines in order to prevent the fire from burning unintended areas, and intentionally setting the burn unit on fire.

Fire is used to clear the ground of existing vegetation in preparation of seeding and planting more desirable plant species. Burning allows the seeds to make better contact with the soil and therefore improves the chances of successful germination.

Fire is used to reduce the competition between weedy species and native species as a restoration area matures to encourage better establishment of the native vegetation which slowly displaces the weeds. Controlled burning also returns nutrients to the soil, making them readily available for the next generation of vegetation growth. 

Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014
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