Prescribed Fire

Prescribed Fire

Fire Could Help Your Land

No doubt about it — a wildfire can destroy property and threaten life, especially if it strikes in an overgrown or unmanaged forest. However, the careful use of prescribed fire can actually improve your land's health, as well as protect life and property.

A wildlife biologist may suggest a prescribed fire to clear overgrown areas and increase plant diversity. Prescribed fires are also a cheaper alternative to herbicides when removing invasive species like fescue. A prescribed fire could be the right option for your land, but don’t forget to “plan before you light it, so you won't have to fight it.”

Use the NRCS guidelines below to become familiar with the basics of conducting a safe, successful prescribed burn.

  • Call your local private land conservationist for a list of prescribed-burn workshops near you.
  • Don't attempt a prescribed burn without training and help. Call your local private land conservationist to learn more.
  • Always notify your neighbors and local fire department before conducting a prescribed burn.

Prepare a burn plan and stick to it. Call off the prescribed burn if the weather isn’t right or it’s expected to change during the burn.

Missouri’s Prescribed Fire Law (RSMo Section 537.354) states any landowner or landowner agent will not be liable for damage, injury, or loss caused by a prescribed burn or the resulting smoke of a prescribed burn unless the landowner is proven to be negligent. Additionally, no certified burn manager will be liable if the burn is conducted in accordance with a written prescribed burn plan unless the burn manager is found to be negligent. Individuals can become a certified burn manager by successfully completing a MDC Prescribed Burn Workshop.