ARDMORE, Okla. — Fire is an important ecological process for ecosystems in the Southern Great Plains and beyond. Prescribed burning is critical to land resource management, helping to reduce fuel buildup, which contributes to wildfires and invasive plant species like the eastern red-cedar. However, prescribed burns must be conducted in a safe and proper manner, which requires planning.
The Noble Research Institute, Oklahoma State University Extension Service, Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA), and the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture will co-host a Growing Season Prescribed Burn Field Day to discuss the benefits and proper use of prescribed burning for land management. This field day, which is open to the public, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, July 13, at the Noble Research Institute D. Joyce Coffey Ranch, located at 16877 State Highway 32 in Marietta, Oklahoma.
The field day will help landowners and others who are interested learn the steps of how to safely and successfully implement prescribed fire. It will focus on the prescribed burn written management plan, which is the most important aspect of a prescribed burn. This field day is aligned with the educational outreach objectives of the OPBA, a statewide organization that educates the public and policymakers about the need to use prescribed fire and the safety of this management practice.
“Our ecosystem in the Southern Great Plains naturally developed with fire. It needs the fire to be healthy,” said Russell Stevens, Noble Research Institute consultation manager, and wildlife and range consultant. “Therefore, fire is a process that must be used correctly. We must use science-based information, practical knowledge, and common sense when prescribing and implementing fire. This field day focuses on all of these components.”
During the field day, prescribed burn specialists will break down each part of a written burn plan, discussing the specifics and importance of each section.
A small demonstration burn will be conducted in the morning, weather permitting. A second demonstration burn will be conducted after lunch, weather permitting, for those who want to stay longer. The field day will also include a detailed explanation of the equipment used for prescribed burns. Attendees who would like to participate in the demonstration burns need to wear cotton or fire-resistant long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, leather boots, hat and gloves.
The registration fee is $20, which includes lunch. For more information or to preregister, please visit www.noble.org/events or call Danielle Pacifico at 580-224-6376 or Trisha DeLozier at 580-224-6377.
In addition to directing educational activities, the OPBA seeks to establish, educate and assist a statewide network of local burn associations across Oklahoma. Additional information about the OPBA and its purpose will be available at this field day.
–Noble Research Institute, LLC
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