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Prescribed Fire

Underbrush Management

Prescribed fire is beneficial from a forestry perspective. It creates access for management activities, reduces fuel loads, and prepares the site for natural regeneration and artificial planting. It also aids in controlling seedling competition, enhances timber sale bid prices, and improves timber stand aesthetics. 

Prescribed Fire and Wildlife

From a wildlife perspective, prescribed fire is crucial for many wildlife species at the Dixon Center. Fire improves accessibility, makes plants more palatable, improves crude protein, promotes seed production, and increases the presence of insects.

prescribed fire backing across native understory

Fire Process

Season, return interval, and intensity variations can be prescribed to obtain various fire effects. Prescribed fire at the Dixon Center is applied during both the dormant seasons. Return intervals generally range from 1 to 3 years.  

Forest Management Comparison

a dirt woods road with the left side showing a history of no prescribed burning; a woody midstory and understory with a mixed pine hardwood overstory mixed pine hardwood stand with a history of prescribed fire

Before Forest Management

Notice the mid-story hardwood dominating the stand and brush along the roadside.

After Forest Management

After prescribed fires, the open grass/forb community below is reestablished.