Prescribed Burning

Flames of a prescribed prairie burn around the outside of a field of prairie grass.

Prescribed fire is an essential component of native vegetation establishment and management. Though challenges are associated with the process, prescribed burning can be executed safely and effectively in the roadside environment.

Prescribed fire is a management tool used for two main objectives:

  • Discourage the growth of invasive and woody plants.
  • Invigorate the growth of native plants.

A timely burn can slow the growth and spread of weeds and small trees, both of which are susceptible to the intense heat associated with fire. Most native prairie species, on the other hand, have a positive response to fire. Historically, this ecological relationship was critical to the existence of the tallgrass prairie, and today it continues to be an essential management practice in roadside prairie remnants and plantings.