March is Prescribed Fire Awareness Month in SC


Active Member
Seemed kinda ironic that just as the governor made his declaration the humidity dropped and those dreaded gusty winds from the east showed up, but low humidity and a stiff east wind is what we really needed to get a decent burn on a couple blocks.

In this block we have been trying to thin out some volunteer loblolly that you can see is getting fairly tall in places. We burned it last year and got about 30% of the volunteer pine. Saturday I lit a backing fire along the break on the downwind side to establish my baseline. I then ran wider and wider strips of head fire parallel to the baseline to get a wider area of black to increase the width of my control line. With about 100 yards of black in addition to the plowed break to stop the fire, I went around to the front and dropped a line of head fire that ran with the wind. When I say ran...I do mean ran! It took about an hour to get the first 1/3 of the block burned and less than 10 minutes to get the remaining 2/3!


The plan here was to use the windy conditions to help move the heat out of the canopies of the big pines, yet put a good bit of heat over the top of the shorter volunteers. In a week or so we'll know for sure how well it worked.



  • IMG_6825.JPG
    92.8 KB · Views: 0
  • IMG_6826.JPG
    79.9 KB · Views: 0
Looks like a good place to kill a turkey. We burnt about 50 acres Saturday afternoon ourselves towards Greenwood. The amount of smoke in the air around the upstate showed a lot of people had the same idea as us.
Yeah there has been quite a bit burned around the midlands since the rain last week.
If the forecast holds for late this week and weekend there will be a lot more up in smoke.

Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
This is about time that I get on and remind everyone to be careful and remember you are liable for everything that happens once you start that fire.We have actually had more people killed doing control burns than all other fires combined.Some simple rules that may safe your life or someones property.
Always get a permit or notify fire dept.
Always have a escape plan in case wind changes or something un forseen happens
Always have a way to control/stop fire.and then have a backup plan
Know what weather is supposed to do.Now days there is no reason to not know about weather changes,Yes sometimes something weird happens but not alot.
Be careful out there.
We have 50 MPH winds with 30% so I will be busy if someone screws up.The last 2 years we have had fires that were in the hundreds of thousands of acres,This was in Kansas.It really is unbelieveable when you can't stop something like fire
I've been wanting to burn around 40 acres of plantation pine for about six years now, but just didn't have the guts to do it. When I learned that I could get a professional to do it for $35/$40 an acre I decided to do it if I still own the place this time next year. I just had it thinned and was advised to wait until the fuel load "melted" a bit so that my trees wouldn't get too hot. I'm looking forward to the burn !
Yes I certainly didn't mean to imply that anyone and everyone should be out lighting the woods on fire. A number of years ago when I got into helping manage quail habitat I was encouraged by a mentor to go take the Certified Prescribed Fire Manager class our SC Forestry Commission teaches. Of course, just taking a class, passing the exam and completing your experience log does not make you an "expert", but it does expose you to what the risks are, how fire behaves in different situations and how to mitigate risks. It is also a requirement for getting insurance. When it comes to fire though, there is no substitute for experience.

For us, the biggest risk is not so much a fire getting out of a block and becoming a wildfire, it is the smoke. Rarely will any location in the southeast be more than a mile from a public road unless you are on a national forest or military reservation. So managing the smoke becomes a big part of planning a burn.

Drycreek those prices are pretty consistent with what our Forestry Commission charges, and about $10 less than what a private contractor would charge. Combine that with some cost share opportunities and even if you are paying a contractor to burn, it is still the best deal going in terms of cost per acres impacted when you are looking at vegetation management and promoting grasses, forbes and legumes. We typically wait 1 and sometimes 2 years following a thinning to burn. One thing you want to consider in a prescription following a thinning is what you want the fuel moisture levels to be like. Debris up against the bases of trees usually damages more trees than needle scorch in a burn like that. I like to burn a block that has been recently thinned within a couple days following a good soaking rain. You'll find that just the top layer of duff is burned and the root collars on your pines are still covered in pine needles that don't get totally consumed.