‘Defensible space’ will help protect your home against wildfires

We are going into our spring fire season and our prescribe (Rx) fire season. As for the fx Fires we have planned this spring, across the cone (Salem/Potosi-Fredericktown Ranger Districts) we have 16 planned fires this spring.

As we have talked about in past years, just because we have planned the Rx fires does not mean we will accomplish them. There are several environmental conditions that have to be met before we can initiate an Rx fire.  

For example, these conditions include: air temperature, predicted air temperature, wind direction, predicted wind direction, humidity, predicted humidity, fuel moisture, soil moisture, fuel loading and the availability of personnel. And if all of these environmental conditions do not line up, we do not burn.

People ask, “Why do you burn?” Using prescribed fire as a land management tool has been used in the Ozarks for many generations. And the original inhabitants also used fire as a land management tool.

Fire can be used to invigorate pasture and grasslands, encourage more browse for deer, and to reduce hazardous fuels in the forest, just to mention a few benefits.

On a side note, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers classes for private land owners on how to conduct Rx fires on their property. There is a class taking place here in Dent County on March 14.  You can call (573) 226-3241 to register for this class.

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