Prescribed Burn Management

Prescribed burns are an effective method of restoring and managing native ecosystems. Burns mimic nature’s natural process of succession, selection, and nutrient cycling that no longer takes place without intervention, particularly in urban settings.

When performed properly with an experienced crew, controlled fires effectively improve wildlife habitat and reduce natural wildlife hazards.

The benefits of prescribed burning include:

  • Improves plant and wildlife habitat
  • Manages exotic and invasive vegetation
  • Reduces wildfire hazards
  • Recycles nutrients
  • Prepares sites for seeding and planting
  • Enhances aesthetic value
  • Controls disease
  • Improves grazing conditions

Heartland Restoration Services offers over 18-years experience with continued training and certification to provide safe and effective land management through prescribed burns. Heartland is fully qualified to prepare burn plans, obtain required variances, and ignite and suppress any prescribed burn.  Specialized suppression equipment allows Heartland to safely and effectively control acres of fire at one time.

Heartland’s staff is certified in:

  • S-130 Wildland Firefighting
  • S-190 Basic Fire Behavior
  • I-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System
  • Prescribed Fire Management

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the optimal time of year to burn?
The optimal time of year to burn is late winter/early spring just before the grasses and forbs come out of dormancy. Burning returns carbon and nutrients to the soil while the heat and smoke stimulates seed germination.  Burning may also take place during the fall, although the window is usually shorter than the spring.

How often should sites be managed with fire?
Habitat type, litter quality/quantity, and invasion of exotic or invasive species all contribute to the frequency of burns. Heartland generally recommends prairies be burned every 3-5 years, but each site needs to be evaluated independently.

Are specific qualifications or permits required in order to perform a prescribed burn?
Yes. The individuals performing the burn should be experienced professionals with available references. Prospective professionals should have attended educational courses through the Department of Natural Resources or National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

A variance is required through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to burn vegetation for wildlife habitat unless the area is exempt under agricultural provisions. Heartland applies for these variances as part of our prescribed burn management services.