Videos

Writing a Burn Plan

This is a recording of the Prescribed Burn Plan Writing Workshop hosted virtually. Participants will learn the different components of a prescribed burn plan and how to develop a plan to maximize safety and effectiveness during a prescribed fire. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Regulations & Burn Plans

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Smoke Management

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Techniques for Prescribed Fire

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Fire Line Roles & Burn Day Activities

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Weather Planning

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Fire Equipment

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Fire Preparations

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Fire Behavior

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Fire Uses and Benefits

This is a recording of the Introduction to Prescribed Fire Workshop hosted virtually. During the course participants learn the basics of planning and implementing a prescribed burn on their land. These workshops are for landowners, resource professionals, volunteer fire departments, and others interested in burning. No prior burn experience is necessary to participate.

Should we use fire to manage land?

Humans have always used prescribed fire to manage land in the Great Plains. Indigenous groups used prescribed fire to shape the Great Plains landscapes and create environments in which they could thrive. Prescribed fires used to manage land are very different from wildfires. The risk of fatality to wildfire fighters is 3,500% higher compared to prescribed fire users. Today’s grasslands owe their existence to human-ignited fires and is the only method proven to effectively control cedar at the scale of the Great Plains biome.

Controlling Eastern redcedar: Mechanical treatments or prescribed fire?

Science has shown that mechanical control of cedar has not performed up to expectations of controlling cedar invasion at desired scales. Mechanical treatments are expensive and target a single invasion stage. While, prescribed fire can target seeds, seedlings, small trees, large trees and stands in a single application. Mechanical methods have greater risks to users, while, prescribed fire has a risk of escape (less than 1% of all fires). Cedar control programs, should evaluate these options with regard to management goals and local conditions.

Does it require wildfire to kill Eastern redcedar?

Eastern redcedar is a fire sensitive tree that is killed using prescribed fire. Fire intensities of 160 kilowatts per meter, equivalent to ~ 2-3 foot flame length, are required to kill cedar trees. Many prescribed fires are just below this intensity, but scientists and land managers have found that by targeting fuel load and or fuel moisture conditions, this threshold can be easily reached within the prescription of a prescribed burn plan. High wind speeds are not required to kill mature cedar trees.

Do windbreaks contribute to cedar infestation of grasslands?

Planting cedar in the Great Plains has increased cedar seed sources at an unprecedented scale and now contributes to cedar invasion. Originally, scientists assumed that cedar was not capable of naturally spreading from windbreaks due to the difficulty of establishing cedar windbreaks in grasslands. Because of this assumption, planting cedar became common practice to generate local benefits associated with wind protection. Now that we know this assumption is wrong, decisions to plant cedar should be evaluated based on windbreak benefits vs. invasion consequences.

Is cedar invasion simply an issue for ranchers?

The dust bowl is a well-known state transition where ecosystems transitioned from a productive state to an unproductive state. Like the dustbowl, Eastern redcedar invasion is causing a state transition in the Great Plains, but with very different impacts. The impacts of cedar invasion extend well beyond the expected consequences to ranching communities, including collapses in native biodiversity; increased risk to endangered species; decreased ability to control wildfires; loss of water resources; increased allergens; and loss of public school funding. Like the dust bowl, cedar invasion is tied to the culture of land management and can be solved by changing some key management practices.

How does cedar impact wildlife in the Great Plains?

Eastern redcedar expansion causes major shifts in wildlife communities and is among the largest conservation challenges in the Great Plains. The Plains’ iconic prairie chickens are among the first species impacted by cedar encroachment. As cedar becomes dominant, many other species decline. Including popular game species such as wild turkey, northern bobwhite, and deer. While some species use cedar when it is sparse, no wildlife require cedar.

Is Eastern redcedar an invasive species?

Eastern redcedar is an invasive species in the Great Plains because its natural enemy—fire—has been nearly eliminated, causing a rapid expansion of cedar into environments where it was historically absent. Many invasive species overcome natural enemies through introductions into new geographic regions. Cedar in the Great Plains is a unique case of invasion where a natural enemy was overcame within a native range.

Future of the Great Plains without fire

Elimination of fire from the Great Plains is obtainable through complete conversion of rangelands and forests to cropland and asphalt. However, fire suppression efforts are successful and cause major changes in Great Plains ecosystems. The future of the Great Plains with fire suppression would result in the dominance of woody plants; hardships to ranching communities and rural economies; more endangered and threatened species; and increased risk of wildfire to our homes and communities. Prescribed burn associations work to avoid the consequences of fire suppression by bringing communities together to conduct prescribed fires and address regional conservation issues.

A special thanks to:

Directors: Erin McCready, Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dillon Fogarty, Ph.D. Student, Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Editors: Dr. Dirac Twidwell Jr., Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Craig Allen, Resilience Scientist, Director for the Center for Resilience in Working Agricultural Landscapes (RWAL)

Featuring: Dr. Dirac Twidwell Jr., Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Craig Allen, Resilience Scientist, Director for the Center for Resilience in Working Agricultural Landscapes (RWAL)
Dr. Dwayne Elmore, Wildlife Extension Specialist, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University
John Weir, Associate Extension Specialist, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Samuel Fuhlendorf, Regents Professor and Groendyke Chair in Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma State University