Controlled burning can be a great asset to rural land owners. Property owners who choose to perform control burns may be intimidated by actually starting a fire. The last thing anyone wants to do is start a fire that can turn into a brush fire, or wildfire.
Controlled burning can remove hazards from land that could eventually start a wildfire. Underbrush in the form of leaves, dead trees, and prairie grass are typically the fuel in a wild fire. Removing these hazards from your land has many benefits, including lowering the risk of a raging fire.
Controlled burns do not have to be difficult or dangerous. Following a few simple steps can have you well on your way to removing organic matter, that is a fire hazard, and improving the look of your land. It is OK to be scared during your first controlled burn. Many veteran's feel fear during the burn process. Being prepared and knowing your options will reduce that fear and prepare you for a safe burning experience.
Prepare the area for burning.
If you do not have a natural firebreak on the land a simple one can be made by digging a pit, or raking a 3 foot wide path around the area you designate for burning. Your firebreak should be free of any organic material that can burn.
Decide on how you will start the fires.
Know how you will put the fire out!
Many landowners use water soaked cloths to beat a fire back into control. Dirt can be used to smother a fire, as well as wet organic material. If you are going to control burn you should never be alone, and without a way to call for help.
How will you clean up after the controlled burn?
Always check with your local Fire Department for regulations on controlled burns in your area. A permit may be required. At the very least informing the local fire department of your activities will keep them from showing up with a pump truck. In the country neighbors are helpful, and may see smoke as a sign of danger, and call it in.