The recently-formed South Central Missouri Prescribed Burn Association (PBA) held its first training session Oct. 20 at a member’s farm east of Gainesville in Ozark County.
Missouri Department of Conservation staff members instructed 14 PBA members on how to construct fire break lines, how to use a drip torch and leaf blowers, and how to use portable water tanks to wet down areas adjacent to an area to be burned.
PBA members who want to burn their own property are expected to submit a burn plan before taking action. MDC Private Land Conservationist Mark McLain offered details about burn plans, and he explained cost share opportunities for landowners who want to put in fire lines and conduct prescribed fires. MDC Forestry Specialist Tyler Trantham and Wildlife Biologist Justin Gailey were also on hand to offer guidance to participants.
The South Central Missouri PBA held its first formal meeting in June at the West Plains Civic Center; meeting are planned to be held annually.
Anyone interested in conducting prescribed burns in Ozark, Howell or Douglas counties, or an adjacent county, is invited to participate in future PBA activities, said local PBA Secretary Carole Moody.
A PBA’s purpose is for neighbors to help neighbors to conduct prescribed burns, so that landowners and others can pool their knowledge, experience, equipment and “people power” to manage controlled fires effectively and safely.
Prescribed fire can reduce fuel on the ground to lessen the intensity and chance of wildfire, help restore native plant communities, thin the understory, enhance wildlife habitat, improve forage for livestock and deer and regenerate desirable tree species, such as shortleaf pine.
For more information or to receive a membership form via email, contact Moody at email@example.com or 417-989-8259.