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ARDMORE, Okla. — Prescribed burning is an effective technique to reduce fuel build up that contributes to wildfire, reduces eastern red cedar pollen and is a critical aspect of land resource management, but it must be used in a safe and proper manner.
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Oklahoma State University Extension Service, Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will co-host a two-day Prescribed Burning Workshop to discuss the benefits and proper use of prescribed burning for land management to landowners. This workshop, which is open to the public, will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, and Thursday, June 26, at the Marietta High School Cafeteria, located at 800 SW 4th Ave. in Marietta, Oklahoma.
This workshop is aligned with the educational outreach objectives of the OPBA, a newly formed statewide organization to educate the public and policymakers about the need to use prescribed fire and the safety of this management practice. The workshop 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, the most important aspect of a prescribed burn.
“Two major considerations must be applied in order to properly use prescribed fire,” said Russell Stevens, wildlife and fisheries consultant. “First, in relation to the goals and objectives, we must consider the effects and outcomes on plants, animals and soils. Second, we must use science-based information and practical knowledge, and common sense when prescribing and implementing fire. This workshop focuses on all these components.”
Day one of the workshop will focus on planning a burn. 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 afternoon (weather permitting).
Day two will focus on developing a burn plan. Specialists will present a case study, and participants will have the opportunity to build a plan using the case study. A large demonstration burn will be conducted in the afternoon (weather permitting).
Each 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.
In addition to direct 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 workshop.