MDC offers landowner prescribed burn workshop in Warrenton

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Warrenton, Mo — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting a prescribed burn workshop and demonstration burn to help landowners manage the natural resources on their property. The workshop will take place Oct. 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Warren County Extension Center in Warrenton.

While uncontrolled wildfires can harm habitat and property, controlled use of prescribed fire can actually improve the health of natural ecosystems.

“Historically much of the Missouri landscape was shaped and maintained by fire. In its absence we’ve had some dramatic changes in the landscape that have affected wildlife,” said Lia Heppermann, an MDC private land conservationist who is organizing the workshop. “Prescribed fire is used to manage habitat that was originally molded and sustained in nature by fire.”

The workshop will cover proper methods and techniques for implementing controlled burns, discuss the impacts of fire on plant and animal communities, and cover where and how landowners can obtain burn equipment and other resources.

Topics also covered during the workshop will include creating a burn plan and timing the burn based on your management objectives and landscape, safety considerations, and proper weather conditions for conducting a burn.

To help workshop attendees put what they learn in to hands-on practice, the workshop will be followed up by a demonstration burn if conditions allow. This will allow participants to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom by assisting with an actual controlled burn.

Heppermann said the exact time and location of the demonstration burn is to be determined and full details will be available at the workshop. The burn will be conducted assuming weather conditions permit.

“The goal here is not to recreate, but to restore as much as we can with the help of tools like prescribed fire,” Heppermann said.

The Prescribed Burn Workshop is free but space is limited and advanced registration is required. Those wishing to register should call 636-583-2303, extension 115. The Warren County Extension Center is located at 107 West Walton Street in Warrenton.