KRM performs all prescribed burns “in house”; no burning is subcontracted. This ensures that all the proper steps are taken to make sure that no mistakes are made; mistakes made while performing a prescribed burn can often be drastic in consequence. KRM employees possess valid North Carolina Burn Boss Certifications as well as all other certification needed to burn in other states. KRM has a prescribed burning form that is used to document the necessary conditions needed to perform the burn, the conditions present at the time the burn is performed, as well as a post-burn checklist that is used to ensure that the burn met the necessary pre-burn specifications.
Performing a prescribed burn remains to be one of the most efficient ways to site prepare a tract prior to planting. The prescribed burn aids to remove logging debris, control natural regeneration, improve access by planting crews, and improve seedling survival by preparing the seed bed. This site preparation technique combined with an herbicide application, either prior to the burn or following planting as a release, aids to establish an excellent growing stock of trees on the site through the future.
KRM maintains an active burning program on an annual basis for many of our clients. Topography, soil types, the presence of standing water, tree species, and other factors dictate whether or not prescribed burning can be used as a forest management and wildlife management tool. The prescribed burning program provides numerous benefits to the forest including:
- Reduction of wildfire potential
- Wildlife habitat improvement
- Release of soil nutrients
- Control of understory vegetation
Prescribed burning is also extremely beneficial to the improvement of wildlife habitat. Burning controls woody vegetation, releases nutrients, and enhances seed germination and growth of soft mast (seeds and berries) producing shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. It makes wildlife browse (leaves, shoots, and vines) more digestible, palatable, and nutritious by increasing the protein content and decreasing the fiber content. Prescribed burning in stands of fire resistant species sets back succession just as a raging wildfire would do, but without the damage to potential timber crop trees. The burn creates variety in the vegetation types and structure, adding to the overall biodiversity of the stand.
Most wildlife habitat improvement burns are low intensity, conducted during the winter months. KRM also uses these burns in hardwood forests to favor oak regeneration, which produce hard mast (nuts and acorns). It has been necessary on portions of certain land developments to conduct a growing season burn to more aggressively control woody vegetation. KRM has always avoided burning during the primary nesting seasons of such wildlife species as bob white quail and turkey.
If you are interested in finding out more on how prescribed burning can benefit your property, please contact our office.