ARDMORE, Okla. — Prescribed fire is a natural ecological process in the Southern Great Plains, where the landscape evolved under fire and grazing. Prescribed fire can improve wildlife habitat, reduce woody plants, and improve forage quality and quantity for livestock.
The Noble Research Institute, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA), and the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture will co-host a Growing Season Prescribed Burn Field Day to discuss the benefits and proper use of prescribed burning for land management. This field day, which is open to the public, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Noble Research Institute Coffey Ranch, located at 16877 State Highway 32 in Marietta, Oklahoma.
The field day 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, which is the most important aspect of a prescribed burn.
"Our ecosystem needs the fire to be healthy, but it is a process that must be used correctly," said Russell Stevens, Noble Research Institute strategic consultation manager, and wildlife and range consultant. "We must use science-based information, practical knowledge and common sense when prescribing and implementing fire. This field day focuses on all of these components."
While the traditional burn season in the Southern Great Plains is late winter and early spring, fire specialists will show how there are many more days throughout the year to burn, including during the summer growing season. During the field day, 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 morning, weather permitting. A second demonstration burn will be conducted after lunch, weather permitting, for those who want to stay longer. The field 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, a hat and gloves.
The registration fee is $25, which includes lunch. For more information or to preregister, please visit www.noble.org/events or call 580-223-5810.
This field day is aligned with the educational outreach objectives of the OPBA, a statewide organization that educates the public and policymakers about the need to use prescribed fire and the safety of this management practice. In addition to directing 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 field day.
Prescribed burning is an effective technique in land resource management, but it must be used in a safe and proper manner. Landowners and others who are interested in learning the steps to safely and successfully implement prescribed fire can attend the Noble Research Institute’s Growing Season Prescribed Burn Field Day on Aug. 2.