MDC workshops in Ozarks teach prescribed fire as land, wildlife management tool

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WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Landowners can learn to use prescribed fire as a land management tool at Prescribed Fire Workshops presented by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The following workshops are planned in January and February throughout the Ozarks:

Prescribed fire is an ancient technique used to manage grasslands, woodlands and old fields for forage production and improvement of wildlife habitat. Used first by Native Americans, the technique is now taught by the MDC across the state.

  • Dent County: Jan. 27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Salem Community Center at the Armory. Call 573-226-3241, ext. 106, to register.
  • Howell County: Jan. 18, 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the MDC Ozark Regional Office in West Plains. Call 417-256-7161 to register.
  • Ozark County: Feb. 22, 5:30 to 9 p.m., at the Gainesville Sale Barn. Call 417-683-4816, ext. 3, to register.
  • Phelps County: Jan. 18, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Eugene Northern Community Center in Rolla. Call 1-800-364-8732, ext. 3, to register.
  • Pulaski County: Feb. 1, 6 to 9 p.m., at the St. Robert Municipal Center, Suite H, in St. Robert. Call 1-800-364-8732, ext. 3, to register.
  • Ripley County: Feb. 15, 6 to 9 p.m., at the US Forest Service Office in Doniphan. Call 573-996-7116, ext. 3, to register.
  • Shannon County: Feb. 22, 6 to 9 p.m., at the MDC Eminence Forestry Office. Call 573-226-3241, ext. 106, to register.
  • Wright County: Feb. 13, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Ann Short Turner Community Center in Mansfield. Call 417-967-2028, ext. 3, to register. 

“Prescribed fire is a low-cost method for landowners to use to improve wildlife habitat and reduce fuel for wildfire,” said Brad McKee, MDC’s private lands regional supervisor for the Ozark Region.  

McKee said the workshops will include classroom discussions on methods, equipment, safety, and why and when to use fire as a management tool. Emphasis will include how to conduct a safe and effective burn to control sprouts, encourage beneficial plants and create better quality wildlife habitat. He said participation in this workshop will qualify landowners to have a prescribed burn plan prepared for their fields and use available equipment on loan from MDC. 

For more information about prescribed fire, go online to