Posts Tagged ‘fire’

The AGFC will host a series of free landowner workshops to teach people how to conduct prescribed burns this February and March.

The AGFC will host a series of free landowner workshops to teach people how to conduct prescribed burns this February and March.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists will host a series of free workshops to teach landowners how to increase wildlife habitat on their property using prescribed fire this February and March.

The workshops are part of the AGFC’s Private Lands Program, a special section of the AGFC Wildlife Management Division focused on helping landowners achieve their wildlife goals at the lowest possible cost.

“When done properly, introducing fire on the landscape is one of the best and most economical ways to promote new browse and herbaceous growth for wildlife,” said Ted Zawislak, AGFC Private Lands Program coordinator. “While a lot of landowners realize the value of burning, they tend to be a little afraid of prescribed fire. Our hope is to increase their comfort level with this practice.”

Northern bobwhite are one of the many species that benefit from the grasses and plants prescribed fire stimulates.

Northern bobwhite are one of the many species that benefit from the grasses and plants prescribed fire stimulates.

“In one Saturday, no landowner can be an expert,” Zawislak said. “But they can have a greater appreciation of the art and science behind prescribed fire. If they choose to hire a prescribed burn contractor to burn their property, they will be a more informed consumer.”

Prescribed fire is one of the least expensive and most efficient tools a landowner can use to increase wildlife habitat.

Prescribed fire is one of the least expensive and most efficient tools a landowner can use to increase wildlife habitat.

Prescribed burns are much different than the wildfires often seen in the news. In fact, many wildfires occur because of the absence of fire on the landscape. Leaves, limbs and other debris build up on the forest floor, creating abundant fuel for a catastrophic fire. Smaller fires at the right time of year eliminate this fuel load gradually and create clearings where seed-bearing grasses and leafy vegetation can grow and provide abundant food for wildlife.

Four six-hour workshops are scheduled during February and March. Space in each of these free workshops is limited to 30 participants, and registration is required at least one week before each workshop date. Lunch will be provided. Workshop locations and times are:

Contact Clint Johnson at 877-470-3650 or email clint.johnson@agfc.ar.gov for more information on these workshops and other Private Lands Program events.


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Controlled burn at Scott Henderson Gulf Mountain WMA

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s private lands biologists have scheduled a series of free workshops offered to teach landowners the proper and safe use of prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat.

Throughout history, humans have used fire to shape their landscape, including upland forests and fields in Arkansas that have a long history with fire. Fire is still a driving force in the state’s landscape. Fire improves habitat for wildlife by encouraging germination of beneficial plants, controlling undesirable plants, reducing wildfire danger, and opening forests to allow growth of grasses and forbs in the understory.

According to AGFC Central Arkansas Regional Private Land Biologist Clint Johnson, wildlife species such as deer, turkey, quail, and a host of nongame species benefit from and thrive on habitats maintained by fire. “Fire is the most cost effective method for restoring and maintaining upland habitats and many landowners are already using this valuable tool in Arkansas. Properly managed habitat using the proper burning methods can increase available high quality food and cover for game animals twice that of planting food plots and at much-reduced cost,”, Johnson says.

We strongly believe in the benefits properly-used fire can have on our wildlife and want to train landowners in its use, Johnson noted. “These workshops are available to all who are interested in learning about using prescribed fire on private property. The purpose of the workshops is to educate participants about the benefits and mechanics of prescribed burning, allow them to communicate with and hire professionals to burn their property, and/or begin the training process for landowners to conduct burning themselves,” he explained. “We will cover planning, firing strategy and equipment, fire weather, proper safety considerations, Arkansas fire laws and more to give landowners the tools they need to use fire on small burn units on their property. We will also have a demonstration of a prescribed burn by AGFC personnel, weather permitting.”

To enroll in one of the free workshops, simply use the links below up to a week before each event. The links will provide specific times, directions and other information. Seating is limited and landowners much register to attend. For more information, contact Clint Johnson at: clint.johnson@agfc.ar.gov or 877-470-3650. These workshops have been made possible through partnerships with Arkansas Forestry Association, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Forestry Commission and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Desoto Boy Scout Camp
319 Camp Desoto Rd, Junction City

Thursday, Feb. 19
Marmaduke Housing Authority
957 West Lillian, Marmaduke

Saturday, March 21
U of A Research Station
362 Hwy 174 N, Hope

Saturday, March 28
Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
8300 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith

Saturday, March 28
Wylie Cox Clubhouse on Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA
349 Lake Loop, Hattieville

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Counties with burn bans as of Oct. 14, 2011

Muzzleloader season will be open as usual, but burn bans are in effect in some counties.

It’s been a long, hot and dry summer in Arkansas. Muzzleloading season begins Oct. 22 in most of the state and current weather conditions call for heightened levels of fire danger.
Hunters should be aware that there are numerous burn bans across the state. County burn bans also apply to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas. Since Sept. 1, Arkansas Forestry Commission firefighting crews have suppressed 137 fires that have burned 2,211 acres.
With a moderate to high fire danger risk around the state, there are a few things to remember:
•  Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged. Outdoor burning includes the burning of yard waste or trash and sometimes includes campfires and outdoor grilling. Burn bans are issued by the local county judge and can vary from county to county. If camping on National Forest Service property in a location under a burn ban, campfires are allowed only in designated areas.
•  Be mindful that sparks from lawn mowers and hay baling equipment can start a wildfire.
•  Never discard cigarettes from vehicles.
•  Never park vehicles where grass or other vegetation can touch the exhaust system.
To view current burn bans and wildfire danger ratings, visit www.arkansasforestry.org. To report a wildfire, call the Arkansas Forestry Commission Dispatch Center at 800-468-8834, or 911.

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