Prescribed fires are conducted in the safest of manners and are generally perceived by the public as beneficial. This is not, however, always the case.
When conditions are wrong, prescribed fire can severely damage the very resource it was intended to benefit. Prescribed fire is a complex management tool and should be used only with the utmost care under controlled conditions.
Prescribed fire is a carefully planned and controlled operation. It has specific objectives, specific parameters and a meticulously carried-out plan conducted and monitored by trained personnel. Prescribed fire adheres to a strict burn plan that includes:
- a statement of the burn’s objectives—what results are intended by burning
- requirements for weather conditions before and during the burn
- considerations for smoke dispersal
- contingency plans in case the fire escapes
- safety requirements