Prescribed fire highlights upcoming workshop

ARDMORE, Okla. — Prescribed burning is one of the most valuable and cost-effective tools available to manage rangelands.

Prescribed burning is one of the most valuable and cost-effective tools available to manage rangelands.

To provide landowners and professionals with recent fire science information and developments, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and Oklahoma State University Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management will co-host a Summer Burn Workshop in conjunction with the Oklahoma Prescribed Fire Council annual meeting from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 26, at the Marietta High School Auditorium located at 800 SW 4th Ave. in Marietta, Okla.

This workshop is aligned with the educational outreach objectives of the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association (OPBA), a newly formed statewide organization to educate the public and policymakers about the need to use prescribed fire and the safety of this management practice.

Researchers, faculty and representatives from the Noble Foundation, Oklahoma State University and OPBA will give presentations on the benefits of prescribed fire, patch burning and impacts on parasites, use of fire to kill cedar, extreme summer fire and stocker cattle grazing behavior to patch burning. Following lunch, attendees will travel to the Noble Foundation D. Joyce Coffey Ranch for a tour of previous burn sites and a demonstration burn, weather permitting.

“Fire has been an integral part of ecosystems in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas throughout history, so native plant communities are adapted to fire and require it,” said Mike Porter, Noble Foundation wildlife and fisheries consultant. “Prescribed fire helps limit brush encroachment, improves forage quality, improves wildlife habitat, maintains native species diversity and conserves rangeland.”

Attendees who would like to participate in the demonstration burn need to wear cotton or fire-resistant long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, leather boots, hat and gloves.

In addition to direct educational activities, the OPBA seeks to establish, educate and assist a statewide network of local burn associations across Oklahoma. Additional information about the OPBA and its purpose will be available at this workshop.

Registration fee is $25, and the cost includes lunch. For more information or to register, please visit or contact Jackie Kelley at 580.224.6360.