One of the most important management tools you can utilize is conductING a prescribed burn in your wildlife areas. A prescribed burn is not the same thing as a wildfire. Prescribed burns are conducted under pre-determined conditions to achieve specific management goals. Wildfire on the other hand can occur any time and often under hazardous conditions.
I’ve always known that burning was good for wildlife areas, but not many people understand the science behind it. After doing some research, I confirmed several different scientific reasoning’s behind burning that I would like to share. First, fire burns away much of the leaves on the forest floor which allows wildlife to feed on the newly exposed seeds and insects. Second, many herbaceous plants will germinate following a fire providing cover for smaller animals. Lastly, one of the biggest reasons I burn is because when the hardwoods sprout back they will be more palatable to white-tailed deer.
If you are worried about burning because of hurting the wildlife animals, hopefully this will ease your mine. While animals might be temporarily displaced following a burn, most can avoid direct harm from fire by burrowing under rocks and fallen logs.
Before planning or setting your designated area on fire, be sure to contact your local fire department and the Forest Service. Should your control burn get out of hand, wildfire’s can threaten public safety, air quality and degrade the air quality.