Prescribed Burn Practices

What is a Prescribed Burn?!

Recently members of our staff went to see how an old restoration project was holding up.  Interestingly enough the park is using prescribed burn practices surrounding the restoration area.  Why would you purposely set a forest on fire you might ask?

A prescribed fire/burn is the controlled application of fire under specific weather conditions that helps restore health to fire-adapted environments.  The purpose of these burns is to reintroduce the beneficial effects of fire into an ecosystem.  Burning safely reduces excess amounts of brush, shrubs, and trees therefore allowing new growth of native vegetation.  The fire opens up the soil while also returning nutrients to it, and can therefore aid in the recovery of the desired species.  Many species of trees, plants and grasses thrive with the stimulation from the fire and smoke. In the coastal plains, plant species have adapted to fires occurring due to natural conditions like lighting.  Some species that have become dependent on fire to thrive are wiregrass, long leaf pine, and Venus fly traps.