New Prescribed Burn Association ready for members
Thu, 05/25/2023 - 1:52pm admin
Meeting June 22
The South Central Missouri Prescribed Burn Association (SCM PBA) has officially formed.
Anyone interested in conducting prescribed burns in Ozark, Howell, Douglas, or an adjacent county is invited to attend the PBA's first annual membership meeting, which will be held 6:30 p.m. June 22 at the Dogwood II room at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 St. Louis.
During that meeting, prospective members can sign up to participate, meet other landowners interested in conducting prescribed burns on their property, and discuss the SCM PBA's plan of work for the 2023-2024 burn season. Dues are set at $25 per year, but no dues will be collected at the meeting.
"This group is for people who want to burn their land but aren't comfortable doing it alone," said PBA President Monty Wiens. "We are also looking for more experienced folks willing to serve as mentors. In the beginning we will focus on learning together how to conduct prescribed fire safely."
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 peoplepower to manage controlled fires effectively and safely.
The group formed following an interest meeting held in February, during which several area residents stepped forward, volunteering to serve on a board of directors. That board has since filed articles of incorporation and bylaws with the state, and has made initial plans for prescribed fire activities for the coming burn year, which will run July 1 through June 30.
Several board members and other involved residents have already taken a free online prescribed fire course and attended training sessions offered by the Mo. Dept. of Conservation. Others recently participated in a "Learn to Burn" prescribed fire led by professional fire boss Mark Howell, president of the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council.
"We would love to see you at the meeting, and encourage you to invite any neighbors and friends who would be interested," said Wiens.
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.
Organizations offering technical assistance to the new PBA include the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever, National Deer Association and the Missouri Department of Conservation, along with the Missouri Prescribed Fire Council.
Educational handouts about prescribed fire will be available free, courtesy of the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium.
To assure enough seats, please contact PBA secretary Carole Moody if you plan to attend the June 22 meeting: firstname.lastname@example.org, 417-989-8259; also contact her if you have questions or would like to receive a membership form via email. For more information about prescribed fire, visit moprescribedfire.org and oakfirescience.com.