Prescribed fire workshop to be held at the Arboretum

Published 1:57 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Crosby Arboretum will hold a prescribed fire workshop on Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. until noon.

According to a release from the Pearl River County Extension Service, the workshop will be an introductory class on how to plan and conduct prescribed burns, handle equipment, manage land through burning, details concerning the ideal weather conditions to conduct burns and rules and safety precautions to be followed when burning.

Patricia Drackett, director at the Arboretum, said as burning is one of the most important management tools for anyone owning land, the workshop will provide insight into the most essential things to be considered while burning a property.

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Drackett said the workshop will also cover additional information concerning becoming certified to conduct controlled burns.

Forestry Extension Associate Butch Bailey and Arboretum grounds manager Terry Johnson, will conduct the workshop, the release states. Johnson is also a certified burn manager.

Bailey said that South Mississippi is a natural habitat for long leaf pine, which are part of an eco system that is fire dependent, making routine controlled burns difficult. That is especially true if homes or business are located on the property.

“Prescribed fire mimics natural fire that is part of the eco system but in a much more controlled way and under certain controlled weather conditions,” Bailey said.

Bailey said that the long leaf habitat is the most endangered in the world and that he is interested in seeing how the habitat can be maintained or increased.

“Other benefits of frequent fires are that it helps mitigate the danger of any catastrophic wildfire in the future,” Bailey said.

Bailey said participants will be provided with an overview of how prescribed fire can be conducted in the state during the workshop, along with the benefits and legal responsibilities landowners need to consider while conducting a burn. Instructors will also cover safety preparations and things to watch out for during a fire.

There is a $10 cost to attend the workshop, which will include lunch. To reserve a spot call 601-799-2311.